Encyclopedia Astronautica

American manned spaceplane. Cancelled 1962. It had been proposed that X-15 number 3 would be reworked to install a delta wing and designed to reach Mach 8.

The wing's leading edge would be of columbium, with Rene-41 alloy on the upper and lower surfaces. The rocketplane could have been air-launched from the top of an XB-70, but even when dropped from a subsonic B-52 would be capable of reaching Mach 8. The project was cancelled when X-15 number 3 was destroyed in a crash.

Spacecraft delta v: 2,400 m/s (7,800 ft/sec).

Gross mass: 25,000 kg (55,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb).
Height: 19.05 m (62.49 ft).
Span: 6.80 m (22.30 ft).
Thrust: 262.45 kN (59,000 lbf).
Specific impulse: 276 s.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • XLR99 Thiokol Lox/Ammonia rocket engine. 262.4 kN. Out of production. Isp=276s. The first large, man-rated, throttleable, restartable liquid propellant rocket engine, boosted the X-15A. First flight 1959. More...

See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, USA. More...
  • North American American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. North American, Palmdale, El Segundo. Downey, CA, USA More...

Associated Propellants
  • Lox/Ammonia Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Ammonia (NH3) is a colourless gas and liquid with a strong irritating characteristic odour. More...

  • Jenkins, Dennis R,, Space Shuttle: The History of the National Space Transportation System : The First 100 Missions, Third edition, Voyageur Press, 2001.

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