Temporarily Out of Stock Online
This little-known classic history of flight-testing the X-Planes is reborn-sweepingly revised and updated with new and recently released information. Aviation enthusiasts will savor the most detailed account available of record-setting aircraft like the X-1 and X-15, flown by Chuck Yeager and other legends, as well as all the cutting edge NASA and Defense Department programs that perfected the aeronautical concepts and technology used in U.S. military, space, and commercial craft.
World-renowned Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert is the setting for the exciting, dangerous, and sometimes deadly job of testing the world's most exotic aircraft. Authors Hallion and Gorn, two of America's top aerospace historians, focus on the unique relationship between test pilots and their machines. A completely updated and reinterpreted text, three new chapters, dozens of rare photographs, and the complete statistical record of nearly six decades of testing make this required reading for anyone interested in manned flight.
|Publisher:||Smithsonian Institution Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.34(w) x 9.54(h) x 1.64(d)|
About the Author
From The Author: Hello, I’m Michael Gorn, and I’m a native Californian living in the Los Angeles area with my wife, Christine. My writing specialty is the history of aeronautics and spaceflight, which I’ve been pursuing for nearly 40 years.
I’ve been fortunate to publish a number of books in the field. My latest, due out in September 2018, is Spacecraft: 100 Iconic Rockets, Shuttles, and Satellites that Put Us in Space (Quarto Publishing Group, 2018).
Spacecraft is timed to commemorate two of the most historic events of the space age: the 60th anniversary of the founding of NASA in 2018, and in 2019, the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11—the first landing by human beings on the Moon. Illustrated with over 300 beautiful, original artworks by my collaborator Giuseppe de Chiara of Naples, Italy, Spacecraft is an oversize, lavishly illustrated book that depicts the world’s great space vehicles, from Sputnik 1 in 1958 to the massive James Webb Space Telescope in 2020. I contributed concise and, I hope, original historical essays that accompany the images.
Some of my previous books include the well-received NASA: The Complete Illustrated History (Merrell Publishers, 2005, revised 2008) and Expanding the Envelope: Flight Research at NACA and NASA (The University Press of Kentucky, 2001). I also wrote The Universal Man: Theodore von Karman’s Life in Aeronautics (Smithsonian, 1992), Superstructures in Space: From Satellites to Space Stations, A Guide to What’s Out There (Merrell Publishers, 2008), and I was a contributing author to Spyplanes: The Illustrated Guide to Manned Reconnaissance and Surveillance Aircraft from World War I to Today (Quarto Publishing Group, 2016).
During my career I served as a federal historian for nearly thirty years, beginning in 1981 with the Department of the Air Force in Washington, D.C. There I held a variety of staff and management positions over 13 years, culminating in Deputy Chief Historian of the U.S. Air Force. I also served for three years as the first historian of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. I then worked for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for 13 years, eventually becoming the Chief Historian of the NASA Dryden (now Armstrong) Flight Research Center, Edwards Air Force Base, California.
I’ve been fortunate to receive several awards for my work, most notably the Gardner-Lasser Aerospace History Literature Award for Expanding the Envelope, presented by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. I also received the Alfred V. Verville Fellowship from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum and was selected for the Fellowship in Aerospace History by the American Historical Association.
I spent my early years growing up in the San Fernando Valley—a suburb of L.A.--and attended the University of Southern California, where I earned a doctorate in history. Aside from the pleasures of writing about aeronautics and spaceflight, I’ve had a lifelong passion for morning walks, amateur (very amateur!) gardening, and for wood carving birds and other wildlife.
Table of Contents
|Foreword to the Second Edition||x|
|Prologue: A Most Exotic Place||xiv|
|Introduction: An Indispensible Role||xxiii|
|I.||Exploring the Supersonic Frontier||1|
|1.||Confronting the Speed of Sound: 1944-1948||2|
|2.||Pioneer Days at Muroc: 1948-1950||21|
|3.||Testing the Shapes of Planes to Come: 1950-1956||38|
|4.||Through Mach 2 and 3: 1951-1959||59|
|5.||Testing Service Aircraft: 1953-1959||81|
|II.||Into Space and Back Again||95|
|6.||The X-15 Era: 1959-1968||96|
|7.||Serving Gemini and Apollo: 1962-1967||126|
|8.||Return from Space: The Lifting Bodies: 1962-1975||143|
|9.||Aeronautics, the First "A" in NASA: 1966-1976||172|
|10.||A Mansion of Many Rooms: 1970-1976||198|
|11.||Shifting Sand: 1976-1981||232|
|12.||An Uneasy Marriage: 1981-1991||254|
|13.||A Fresh Start, 1991-1999||288|
|Epilogue: "I Hadn't Missed It After All"||336|
|A Note on Sources||338|
|About the Authors||341|
|Appendix A||Organizational Charts, 1948-1999||344|
|Appendix B||Personnel Summary for FRC/DFRC, Other Aeronautical Centers, and NASA as a Whole||355|
|Appendix C||HSFS/FRC/DFRC Technical Facilities||357|
|Appendix D||Authorized Funding for Research and Program Management at FRC/DFRC, Other OART/OAST/OAT Centers, and NASA Dryden||360|
|Appendix E||Muroc Flight Test Unit-DFRC Research Aircraft, 1947-1999||362|
|Appendix F||X-1 Program Flight Chronology, 1946-1958||378|
|Appendix G||Douglas D-558 Program Flight Chronology, 1947-1956||386|
|Appendix H||X-2 Program Flight Chronology, 1954-1956||396|
|Appendix I||X-3 Program Flight Chronology, 1954-1956||397|
|Appendix J||X-4 Program Flight Chronology, 1950-1953||399|
|Appendix K||X-5 Program Flight Chronology, 1952-1955||401|
|Appendix L||XF-92A Program Flight Chronology, 1953||405|
|Appendix M||X-15 Program Flight Chronology, 1959-1968||406|
|Appendix N||Lifting Body Program Flight Chronology, 1966-1975||415|
|Appendix O||XB-70A Program Flight Chronology, 1967-1969||421|
|Appendix P||YF--12 Program Flight Chronology, 1969-1978||423|
|Appendix Q||Space Shuttle Approach and Landing Tests Flight Chronology, 1977||430|
|Appendix R||Accident Statistics, 1954-1999||432|
|Appendix S||Boeing 720B Controlled Impact Demonstration Flight Chronology||435|
|Appendix T||NF-111A (63-9778) Flight Chronology||436|
|Appendix U||NKC-135A (55-3129) Flight Chronology||444|
|Appendix V||F--18 #840 HARV Flight Chronology||446|
|Appendix W||X-29 Flight Chronology||488|
|Appendix X||X-31 Flight Chronology||519|
|Appendix Y||SR-71 Flight Chronology||541|