At the edge of space: the X-15 flight program
In At the Edge of Space, Milton O. Thompson, a pilot active in the X-15 program from beginning to end, tells the dramatic story of one of the most successful research aircraft ever flown. Initiated in the 1950s by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (later NASA), the U.S. Air Force, and the Navy, the X-15 program tested the survivability of rocket-powered aircraft at hypersonic speeds and at the outermost limits of the earth's atmosphere. Nine phases of the program tested engine capabilities, altitude and speed capacity, and pilot ability, as well as experiments unrelated to the aircraft itself. Achieving hypersonic speeds, the X-15 aircraft also yielded design and materials data integral to the subsequent Apollo and space shuttle missions. The first full-length account of the X-15 program, At the Edge of Space profiles the twelve test pilots (Neil Armstrong, Joe Engle, Scott Crossfield, and the author among them) chosen for the program. Thompson has translated a highly technical subject into readable accounts of each pilot's participation, including many heroic and humorous anecdotes and highlighting the pilots' careers after the program ended in 1968.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
The X-15 programme ran from the late Fifties for a decade and finished in 1968. It was the latest in a line of experimental aircraft and it was designed to investigate hypersonic speeds and flight at the edge of the atmosphere and beyond. It is still in the record books as the fastest manually piloted aircraft. I'd put off reading this book for a while, because I thought it might be a little dry. I'm interested in the topic of course, but was a little worried that it might be heavy on technical details & data, however I was dead wrong. Milton Thompson, one of the X-15 pilots, does a great job of making this book a fascinating read by filling it with loads of anecdotes and first-hand accounts of the programme, such as the occasions when he would "sneak up" behind people on the dry lake beds in a chase plane at 600 kts and pass over their heads at 10 feet. He has a dry sense of humour, and I love this kind of thing: "The explosion destroyed the entire rear half of the aircraft and blew the front part out of the test stand. [The pilot] was not injured but the explosion really got his attention" "Pete was spared from further warning lights by a complete electrical shut down". ... and commenting on the careers of the pilots following their time on the X-15 ... "Neil Armstrong joined the NASA Astronaut Corps and then I lost track of him" Much of the book deals with descriptions of the preparations, the flights and the difficulties encountered. I personally learnt a huge amount. For example I never appreciated that they flew two quite different types of flights: fairly level flights that remained fully within in the atmosphere and high altitude flight that took the pilots out of the atmosphere and earned (the USAF pilots at least) them their 'Astronaut Wings'. Thompson wrote this book when he realised that so much time had passed there was a danger that many events and achievement of the X-15 programme would be forgotten. I'm glad he did. An essential read for anyone interested in the X-15. There are numerous illustrations which complement the text greatly. For the completist there is a record of all 199 free flights of the X-15 plus stats on the pilots, an example flight plan and maps of the flight corridor and the emergency dry lake landing sites. If I have any criticism at all, it could do with an index of the figures as it was frustrating flicking back to maps without knowing what page they were on. Also the final section on the current state of play in experimental aviation is a little dated and could do with a revision. These are minor quibbles, though. A great book, which does justice to the whole X-15 programme.
Review: At the Edge of Space: The X-15 Flight ProgramUser Review - Goodreads
Interesting first-hand account of the X-15 program from one of the gutsy 12 pilots/astronauts who flew this remarkable research aircraft. Nice blend of the technical details with "right stuff ...
Air & Space Magazine | History of Flight | X-15 Walkaround
air&space magazine brings the experience of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum to all who are curious about great aerospace achievements and ...
www.airspacemag.com/ history-of-flight/ x-15_walkaround.html
Title: At the Edge of Space: The X-15 Flight Program Author: Milton O. Thompson Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press Rating: ...
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Milton Orville Thompson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 References. Thompson, Milton O. (1992) At The Edge Of Space: The X-15 Flight Program, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington and London. ...
en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Milton_Orville_Thompson
Thompson, Milton, At the Edge of Space: The X-15 Flight Program. Washington, dc: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992. Tregaskis, Richard. ...
www.centennialofflight.gov/ essay/ Evolution_of_Technology/ X-15/ Tech28.htm
NASA - NASA Dryden Fact Sheets - X-15 Hypersonic Research Program
Milton O. Thompson, At the Edge of Space: The X-15 Flight Program (Washington, DC, and London: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992). ...
www.nasa.gov/ centers/ dryden/ news/ FactSheets/ FS-052-DFRC_prt.htm
X-15 Rocket Plane
At the Edge of Space: The X-15 Flight Program by Milton O. Thompson, Neil A. Armstrong from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca ...
Book References, X-15 & X-Planes
At the Edge of Space The X-15 Flight Program Milton O. Thompson 1992 Smithsonian Institution Press. X-15 The NASA Mission Reports Robert Godwin, editor ...
www.sierrafoot.org/ x-15/ books.html
At the Edge of Space: The X-15 Flight Program - GRAAND (1588340783 ...
At the Edge of Space: The X-15 Flight Program. At the Edge of Space: The X-15 Flight programproduct Description: Thompson’s adrenaline-fueled account of the ...
North American X-15: Information and Much More from Answers.com
At the Edge of Space: The X-15 Flight Program. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992. ISBN 1-56098-107-5. Tregaskis, Richard. ...
www.answers.com/ topic/ north-american-x-15
X-15 (1961) - imdb user comments
Hey, the movie even got a mention in Milt Thompson's Book "At the Edge of Space: The X-15 Flight Program". So, do your best to find a copy, forget Soviet ...
www.imdb.com/ title/ tt0055627/ usercomments