History of aviation – September 17, 1959. Jointly financed by the US Navy and the US Air Force, the experimental single-seat rocket plane from the North American company, X-15 number 2, made its very first aerial sorties on Thursday, September 17 1959, in the skies of California. An event that will be covered in the daily press.
It was pilot aviator Scott Crossfield who took command of the aircraft for this flight, taking off on September 17, 1959 from Edwards military air base, for an aerial trip during which he would operate at maximum speed. of 2,242 kilometers per hour, Mach 2.11 being reached. The aircraft taking part in a study program on high altitude and high speed flights.
X-15 number 2 set its speed record in October 1967: piloted by aviator Pete Knight, it reached the dizzying speed of 7,272.6 kilometers per hour. A remarkable performance which follows his height record signed during the month of August 1963, he then reached an altitude of 107.8 kilometers, with aviator Joe Walker placed in the cockpit.