Hypersonic: The Story of the North American X-15 Hardcover – Jan 2003
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Rocket plane: The term now conjures images from vintage pulp sci-fi. But in a program that began years before Gagarin and Shepard launched the space race, NASA's X-15 research vehicle ambitiously arched towards the fringes of space, expanding the speed-and-altitude envelope of manned flight like none before it. In the course of a 199 flights over a decade, the X-15 became the first manned aircraft to rocket past Mach 4, 5 and 6; soared some 67 miles above the Earth (earning a handful of its dozen pilots their Astronaut wings, though ironically not Neil Armstrong, later first to set foot on the Moon); and crucially gathered the cornerstone data that enabled the Space Shuttle's return from space a couple decades later. Authors/historians/archivists Dennis Jenkins and Tony Landis have produced nothing short of a landmark history of the X-15's pioneering effort which, they argue, was the most productive flight test program ever)-- the first truly comprehensive chronicle of every phase of its pre-history, development, and often perilous journeys (USAF pilot Mike Adams was killed on one of the craft's final flights, while several others suffered injuries in mishaps). Fueled by an obvious passion for their subject, the authors skillfully boil a daunting body of history, technical data, and personalities down into an eminently accessible chronicle of technical achievement and human bravery. In doing so they've drawn on a wealth of documentary materials and interviews from pilots, NASA and USAF sources and key personnel from North American Aviation, the X-15's manufacturer. Pilots Scott Crossfield and Bill Dana (the first and last to fly the spaceplane, respectively) have also contributed written introductions. --Jerry McCulley
Top Customer Reviews
However, if Mr. Reid feels the binding is causing him concern, I suggest he contact the publisher. I have had my book (I get an advance) for a while now and have not noticed any cause for concern, and my copy has been extensively looked through by a lot of people. This printer generally turns out a very superior product, and I know that the publisher was excited by this book and would not have scrimped on the binding. Perhaps Mr. Reid simply somehow received a defective copy.
I urge Mr. Reid to call Specialty to resolve the issue. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy reading it and looking at all the great photos Tony managed to find for it.
But Jenkins and Landis have scored big with this book.
The X-15 was the most sucessful X-plane. but so much was unknown about what it did in it's 199 flights, and the fact is-it's successes were not yelled from the top of the N.A.A. plant at Los Angeles!
Everyone who loved that aircraft felt that there was a void until recently. The Apogee book and this one especially, tell the story about how we pursued entry into space with wings. "Hypersonic" is the book that future Historians will be using to learn about the fantastic feats that the X-15 accomplished. This volume and the follow up scrapbook are long overdue homage to those first early days of manned spaceflight!
This is THE must read book about the X-15!
While the quality of the typesetting, graphs and especially the photos is extremely high, I have some serious concern about the quality of the perfect binding. I treat my references gently, but this one already has me a bit concerned about the pages staying with it after even a bit of usage.
However, even if I had to use this loose-leaf, it would be added to my collection right away. Hard to imagine that such a trove of "good stuff" was not previously published.
Most recent customer reviews
Full-page size blueprints with dimensions & close ups of all the X-15 markings. (For scratch-built modeling purposes). Read morePublished on Jan. 29 2004 by Joel
This is a fabulous book about the X-15, one of my favorite planes/spacecraft. It is full of beautiful illustrations and great text; it is an absolute must-have if you are in the... Read morePublished on July 31 2003 by JB
Dennis R. Jenkins and Tony R. Landis have produced the best volume I've ever seen on the history of the X-15. Read morePublished on May 3 2003 by Kurt Duerksen