I held the angle of attack and reversed the direction of the turn holding the angle of attack up about 10°. As soon as I established a turn to the right, I increased the angle of attack to 15° and the airplane felt very steady. 'The Mach number went bleeding off very .fast, and at this time I got the next to the last call I heard Neil make. It was that I was at 98,000 feet, and much higher than I had intended to be. I held it at 15° angle of attack and got a rudder pulse. This is with dampers on at 8-6-8 and speed brakes out. I rolled back on course and it was a beautiful day. As soon as I came down on the horizon initially, after the pullup, I could see Edwards loud and clear and all of the lakes along the way. There was no problem of knowing where you wanted to go.
I don't have any cross checks on inertial altitude. I thought that it must have been off; however, the postflight indication reveals that it was probably close. After reaching the maximum altitude, I pushed over to come downhill a little bit, turned the roll and yaw dampers off. This is very soon after Mach 4, and I held the speed brakes out and the dampers off until all the way down to Mach 2. At this point, I got the speed brakes in and turned the yaw and roll dampers on. During this time, I thought that I was holding, after I got the airplane coming downhill a little bit, between 9° and 10°a. There were no tendencies for the airplane to oscillate directionally. You could use normal control for bank. There was one period in there -- I'm not sure at what speed -- roll control got a little bit touchy. I reached for the dampers but did not turn them on. It didn't last very long and most of this period I could fly any way I wanted to under these conditions. This is about 4° to 5° higher than I was on the last flight. The differences between this and my last flight were a higher altitude and a lower q for the same Mach number, I used the side arm instead of the center stick, and I had no residual fuel on this flight. That is essentially what the flight plan was. We came on into the traffic pattern and landed. I was shooting for the two-mile marker, and I thought that I was going to overshoot as I rolled out on final, so I put my flaps down a little earlier than I would have normally, and I put my gear down a little earlier than I would have normally. About that time it was obvious that I was going to undershoot a little bit, so I tried to stretch it, but I didn't quite make it. I don't know what speed was at touchdown, but I guess it was 170 or so. It was a real nice flight and a beautiful day.
Question: When did you switch from the side stick to the center stick?
Petersen: I went over to the center stick after I got the dampers on. At about Mach 2.
Question: Cabin altitude?
Petersen: I checked auxiliary cabin altitude after I checked my pressure suit pressurization. As on the previous check on the auxiliary system, it did not come down. You could see that it was trying to, but it did not.
Question: Stable platform cooling?
Petersen: We had about an even three minutes of stable platform cooling off. As I turned it on the cabin came down to 35,000 and .stayed at 35,000. I checked it again after I went on my internal cooling system. It was holding at 35,000. I didn't check it again before launch. After burnout and while we were riding home, I checked it several times and it seemed to have crept up to 38,000 or 39,000 feet. I had quite a bit of vent flowing and maybe a half a pound in the suit so I didn't notice any suit inflation. This did not attract my attention to the cabin altitude. I just checked it a couple of times and it was at around 38,000. I never saw it above 39,000 feet. Joe was absolutely correct about where that smoke was coming from. It comes out from underneath the lip of the canopy above the instrument panel. It comes right up in your face, and stinks when you open your visor after landing. I don't think it is serious, just worthy of note.
I have the same characteristics on radio after I shifted to NASA 1 as I had with NASA 2 so I suspect the X-15 radio rather than the transmitters upstairs. We did not have any guard receiver apparently, and this is the main receiver that is pretty poor. As I say, I think the auxiliary receiver was also out, but I can't prove it. Milt gave me a check on it and I read him down here, but I could never get a check from Neil when he was transmitting on the auxiliary frequency through the ADF antenna. I rogered all transmissions before launch, and neglected to roger all of them after drop. In this respect, I guess both velocity and altitude were pretty good (stable table). Until I talked with you people I was under the impression I was probably about 10,000 feet off, but apparently it wasn't.
I've got to make
one comment. As far as this flight is concerned, it flew like the simulator
did, and I think that at these angles of attack and at this q and 8-6-8
on the dampers, you shouldn't have any trouble with your next flight, Bob.