Aircraft: X-15 No. 670 Date: Nov. 30, 1960
Flight: 1-18-31 Takeoff: 1011
Pilot: N. A. Armstrong Launch: 1043
Chases: F-100F Capt. Looney Land: 1053
  F-104A J. A. Walker Total: :10
  F-104D LCDR Petersen    

Launch Aircraft: B-52 No. 008

Major Cole, Major Fulton, S. P. Butchart

Subject: Familiarization Flight No. 1

1. The takeoff was delayed approximately 1 hour due to a servicing difficulty encountered when a cabin source helium shutoff valve was found to be frozen. All pre-takeoff checks were satisfactory. Taxi, takeoff, and climb were surprisingly smooth.

2. When the No. 2 APU was started, the tank pressure rose to the proper value immediately, but no hydraulic pressure indication was observed. After approximately 45 seconds, the hydraulic pressure had risen to 1000 pounds. At this time, the No. 2 generator was reset satisfactorily indicating proper APU turbine speed. After an additional minute, the pressure indication climbed swiftly to its correct operating value.

3. The launch was smooth with no noticeable pitch or roll excursions. Control positions were: stabilizer - zero, rudders.- neutralized, differential stabilizer - slight left stick No difficulty was experienced in picking up the desired 8° angle of attack. The rocket chambers were ignited with the exception of No. 3 chamber on the upper engine. This chamber showed no evidence of ignition with chamber pressure rising only to near propellant tank pressure. Cycling the chamber switch proved fruitless and was shut down.

4. The aircraft came level at an indicated 37,300 feet and the 8° angle of attack climb initiated. At the pushover altitude (44,000 feet), an abnormally high pitch attitude of approximately 40° was indicated from the inertial system. The airplane came level at 45,000 feet indicated and a pitch error of 15° on the inertial attitude presentation was apparent. A left turn was initiated at 1.2+ Mach number and the aircraft trimmed at 10° angle of attack. Pulses about all three axes were performed (SAS-4,4,8). At the request of the ground controller, the turn was tightened to 14° a . Upon rollout, the roll attitude presentation was observed to have a 1O° error. Left and right sideslips with abrupt releases were obtained at 1.6 M and a 10° a turn initiated at 1.7 M, 47,500 feet. The aircraft was slowed to 210 KIAS where light buffet was observed. Near full deflection rolls (through a 90° bank angle change) were recorded at 230 KIAS at approximately 42,000 feet. A push down - pull up was performed 260 KIAS at approximately 35,000 feet. The angle of attack range was -1 to +10. Light buffet was observed at +9°. The descent from 35,000 to 20,000 feet was performed with speed brakes full open. No buffet was observed.

5. The landing approach speed was maintained between 300 and 330 KIAS. Flaps were extended at 300 knots and gear extended at 260.

Touchdown was between 180 and 190 knots near the desired 2 mile chevron on Runway 18, North Lakebed. Full aft stick was maintained through the runout. Flaps were raised and speed brakes opened immediately after touchdown in an effort to minimize runout.

6. MC-2 suit operation was satisfactory. Breathing pressures, breathing flows, and suit pressurization were normal. There was no evidence of face plate or windshield fogging.

7. Inertial platform readouts were unsatisfactory. In addition to the pitch and roll attitude eccentricities, the altitude and velocity indications were unusable.

Neil A. Armstrong

Aeronautical Research Pilot