North American X-15 Book Review
|Date of Review
|North American X-15
|Peter E. Davies
|80 pages, softbound
For most folks in the 1950s and 1960s, North American's legendary X-15 remains the greatest "X-Plane" – ever.
The sleek, swarthy stiletto snagged performance records that still stand – helping forge repute that remains today.
Now Osprey recaps the pioneering program in North American X-15 – third in its growing "X-Planes" series.
Hypersonic and exoatmospheric flight – sustained speeds above Mach 5 – required major advances in systems, airframe, propulsion and coatings technologies. Launch and recovery concerns proved equally critical. And author Peter E. Davies dutifully distills most in two informative chapters on X-15 design and development.
Two subsequent sections chronicle X-15 test flights. And a final, fascinating chapter recaps stillborn X-15 derivatives – including delta-wing and orbital proposals.
Extended captions and informative sidebars augment the account. Color and B&W photos, color profiles, and action paintings further support the study. A helpful cut-away aptly illumines the X-15's forward fuselage. And a selected bibliography and index neatly tie things up.
It's also full of fun, fascinating facts. Did you know that X-15 test pilots "ran the risks of hypersonic flight on salaries that were usually half those of airline pilots"? Hardly seems fair!
Make this handy handbook your introduction to the legendary X-15.
My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!