Major Robert Rushworth
Down through to launch, I got a couple of seconds behind at launch, got to looking around the instrument panel and I can imagine my call was 3-2-1 launch, and I guess two or three seconds delay before I reached for the throttle because I was real interested in seeing what the attitude of the airplane was when I came out. And even though I held an inch to an inch-and-a half displacement on the stick, I still rolled off, I guess about 5° right roll, but it righted itself immediately after I broke away from the B-52.
The engine lit quicker than I expected it to. I expected a few seconds delay, and the minute I brought the throttle in at 75%, we were going. About 10 seconds later, back to 50% and I got onto the profile five or 10 seconds before I was supposed to pushover; and I got the impression, not from outside reference or from the attitude gyro. I was getting into a steeper climb than I had expected, so I started pushing over early. I held the speed brakes until ground control called them. out. This pushover took me approximately to O g and right into 80,000 feet. This .matched the profile real well. On the pushover I began. to see smoke coming up from my right foot, and it really didn't look like smoke but more like vapor. I really don't know what it was and during the climb just previous to this, at about 40 seconds, I took a last look at cabin altitude and it was still reading 35,000.
I came level and got into the sideslip. I didn't get a full deflection sideslip because I rolled up into a 20 or 30° bank angle, and I had the stick up against my leg. Evidently the suit had blown up a little bit there and the stick was against my leg, and I could feel that, so I stopped and held a steady-state position and then released it and everything at that point looked exactly like the simulator.
During the pushover -- let me go back a little bit -- at zero g, the directional damping was a fairly poor and the airplane had a long period, and I guess some ±2° of sideslip which was just about what we had looked at on the simulator; and I thought that matched real well and I kept on going in the sideslip, and it matched real well, and I don't recall shutting the damper off. As I recall, the damper was off later on in the flight, so I must have. I pulled it up to 11°, and going through 11° I started to get a little mild buffet, so I stopped there and got the rudder pulse. I took a look at the speed. I was indicating about 3,400 ft/sec. A little higher than what was called for. I think I got a call from the ground at that time that I was beginning to go downhill just previous to this, and he said that I was going back up again. I came down to an estimated 6° and started a few more pulses, and I indicated between 3,900 and 4,000, just short of 4,000 ft/sec, when I shut down. I shut down on Pete's call because the clock wasn't running, and I couldn't find the other clock either at that time. I was going to shut down at 4 minutes total on the other clock.
Between 4,000 and 2,300 or 2,400, where he called speed brakes in, I got several pulses, but they were at lower angle of attack than what I was aiming for. I was aiming for 10° and it was down around 6° when I got these pulses, with dampers off. Speed brakes in, indicating at least 2,400. It may have been a little higher. Got the speed brakes in and I was already home. I didn't see the necessity for holding altitude anymore until I got down to about 40,000 feet. The inertial altimeter worked real well down to 50,000 feet where I changed over to the other one. When I changed over I was reading 2,000 ft/sec on inertial and about 1.8 on the Mach number. I got over on the sidestick for a little work between 1.5 and the pushover-pullup and I remember that I think I transferred back to center stick for the pushover-pullup. From. there on down, I was reading on my standard altimeter a lower level than what ground called out all the way, and at launch I was better than 1,500 feet below the B-52 on standard altimeter. When White called out 10,000 feet, I was going through 9,400. I thought. I was a little bit higher and a little bit faster than what I had planned. I used speed brakes all the way down. shooting for the 2-mile marker, I guess I missed it by 1,000 feet, overshot it by that much. The touchdown speed was real smooth. I could feel the skids for as much as a second before the nose slammed to the ground and I had a chance to start the stick back for full deflection when I got the nose coming down. I didn't have much control over the thing after l got on the ground. I tried to keep it on the runway but I couldn't do it. And then l got slowed down too much. The rudder wasn't helping too much.
Question: Did you know that you started down after you got level at 80,000 feet?
Rushworth: I was aware of it, but when Pete called out that I was going down hill I was just below 80,000 feet and then I pulled up for the pulse and I know that would bring me back on up and he called and verified it. As far as starting down after that, I was ready to start down because the field was right there. I was home early. I think when I came across the base I was still at 40, 000 feet.
Question: You were going down hill before you shut down?
Rushworth: Yes, I could have been. Oh, one thing that I should have mentioned; (on climbout) I got to fighting the problem of holding my head up against the head bumper and suddenly gave up on that and just let the engine carry me. I don't know what happened to the head bumper at the point, for when I shut down the engine I don't recall running against it. I think it must have slipped up a little bit. I didn't hit the head bumper when I shut down and it didn't bother me that it wasn't there. I got tired of holding my head up, and just relaxed and went back against the seat.
Question: Did you use about an inch and 1/2 stick displacement at launch?
Rushworth: I moved it over at least an inch and I was aiming for an inch and a half.
Question: Did the ADF work, Bob?
Rushworth: The last time I remember looking at it, it was still swinging. That went all the way out to at least five minutes before launch. I don't think it ever did work.
Question: Head rest position.
Rushworth: Yeh, I could stand it more forward.
Rushworth: I hit 80,000 right on the money. I never did get to check the rate-of-climb indicator. When Pete was calling out times for airspeed, the first one I had got a good check on was 90 some seconds. Everything was good at the 40-second point and then I didn't get to check it again until -- I should have been at 3,000 ft/sec or 3,200 and I was up to 3,400 again. The timer didn't, move. If it did it was at zero again when I looked at it.
Question: Attitude indication?
Rushworth: The ball nose worked real good all the way this time. The meter indicated off until I got hydraulic pressure and then it came in. I got a real good test on it and it held steady all the way, as it should have.
Question: Hydraulic fluctuations before launch?
Rushworth: No, I checked that again just before launch, and it was really steady. It was down somewhere around 3-2 minutes, and then we -- I think it was really good on hydraulic pressure.
One other thing -- somewhere after burnout, I got a noticeable bang in the airplane. It wasn't heavy but I could feel it. I checked everything through and everything seemed normal and then when I went to jettison, for no reason at all, just before I went to jettison, somewhere between Mach 2 and 1.5, I could feel sloshing of fuel somewhere or motion that made me think of sloshing of fuel and lt reminded me that I had to jettison. And when I went to jettison, I started getting yaw oscillations at the same time. Whether it was from that I don't know.