Encyclopedia Astronautica
X-15A



x15a.jpg
X-15 on lakebed
Credit: NASA
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X-15C 3-view
Credit: © Mark Wade
x153v.gif
X-15 3 View
Credit: © Mark Wade
American air-launched rocketplane. Manned hypersonic research rocket aircraft.

Failures: 141.

Stage Data - X-15A

  • Stage 0. 1 x NB-52. Gross Mass: 177,273 kg (390,820 lb). Empty Mass: 70,545 kg (155,525 lb). Thrust (vac): 430.472 kN (96,774 lbf). Isp: 5,142 sec. Burn time: 48,000 sec. Isp(sl): 4,675 sec. Diameter: 14.72 m (48.29 ft). Span: 56.40 m (185.00 ft). Length: 47.74 m (156.62 ft). Propellants: Air/Kerosene. No Engines: 8. Engine: J57-19. Status: Out of Production. Comments: Boeing Bomber-swept wing. Maximum release conditions: Wing mounted, 25,000 kg (19.1 m length x 6.7 m span) at 880 kph at 11,448 m altitude.
  • Stage 2. 1 x X-15A. Gross Mass: 14,184 kg (31,270 lb). Empty Mass: 5,158 kg (11,371 lb). Thrust (vac): 262.445 kN (59,000 lbf). Isp: 276 sec. Burn time: 90 sec. Isp(sl): 239 sec. Diameter: 1.42 m (4.65 ft). Span: 6.80 m (22.30 ft). Length: 15.32 m (50.26 ft). Propellants: Lox/Ammonia. No Engines: 1. Engine: XLR-99. Status: Out of Production.

Gross mass: 14,184 kg (31,270 lb).
Height: 15.32 m (50.26 ft).
Diameter: 1.42 m (4.65 ft).
Thrust: 227.26 kN (51,090 lbf).
Apogee: 107 km (66 mi).
Number: 293 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • J57-19 Pratt and Whitney turbojet engine. 53.8 kN. Out of production. Thrust is maximum sea level thrust; specific impulse is sea level value at that thrust. Isp=5142s. Used on B-52 launch aircraft for X-15A. First flight 1959. More...
  • 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
  • North American American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. North American, Palmdale, El Segundo. Downey, CA, USA More...

Associated Stages
  • NB-52 Subsonic rocket launch aircraft. Loaded/empty mass 177,273/70,545 kg. Thrust 430.47 kN. Specific impulse 5142 seconds. Boeing Bomber-swept wing. Maximum release conditions: Wing mounted, 25,000 kg (19.1 m length x 6.7 m span) at 880 kph at 11,448 m altitude More...
  • X-15A Lox/Ammonia propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 14,184/5,158 kg. Thrust 262.45 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 276 seconds. More...

X-15A Chronology


1954 July 9 - . LV Family: X-15. Launch Vehicle: X-15A.
  • X-15 project begun. - . Nation: USA. Program: X-15. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-15A. NACA met with USAF and Navy BuAer representatives to propose the X-15 as an extension of the cooperative rocket research aircraft program. The NACA proposal was accepted as a joint effort and a memorandum of understanding was signed on December 23 naming NACA as technical director of the project, with advice from a joint Research Airplane Committee.

1957 April 23 - . LV Family: X-15. Launch Vehicle: X-15A.
  • X-15 first public details announced. - . Nation: USA. Program: X-15. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-15A. Summary: Details of X-15 rocket research airplane were publicly revealed for the first time..

1958 October 15 - . LV Family: X-15. Launch Vehicle: X-15A.
  • X-15 rollout. - . Nation: USA. Program: X-15. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-15A. Summary: First of a series of three X-15 experimental rocket-powered manned research aircraft was rolled out at the Los Angeles plant of North American Aviation, Inc., in the joint USAF-USN-NASA program..

1961 June 19 - . LV Family: X-15. Launch Vehicle: X-15A.
  • X-15 awards. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Crossfield; Walker; White, Robert. Program: X-15. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-15A. Summary: Harmon International Aviator's Trophy for 1961 announced as going to three winners for the first time-X-15 rocket research airplane pilots: A. Scott Crossfield, of North American; Joseph A. Walker, of NASA, and Maj. Robert A. White, U.S. Air Force..

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