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X-15
X-15
1/5/09
NASA
 
Year 2009
Walter C. Williams was Chief of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics? and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration?s flight research organization on Edwards Air Force Base until his appointment as Associate Director of Project Mercury on September 15, 1959. Walt had started his career with NACA at Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in 1939 as an engineer in the Flight Division. In 1946 he transferred to the Muroc Army Air Field to be in charge of the small group of technicians and engineers who would be doing the flight research on a joint NACA-Army Air Forces program involving the rocket-powered Bell XS-1. See photo DIRECTORS E-49-0170, which addresses the first eight years of Walt?s responsibilities with NACA. Williams' achievements as Chief of the NACA/NASA High-Speed Flight Station for the next five years continued to be significant. NACA pilot Joseph A. Walker made the first of 20 NACA research flights in the Douglas X-3 ?Flying Stiletto?--on which inertial coupling was first experience--in 1954. The first NACA flight in an Lockheed F-104A aircraft occurred on August 27, 1956. On October 15, 1958, the first of three North American X-15 rocket research aircraft arrived at NASA High Speed Flight Station as preparations moved ahead for the highly successful NASA-Air Force-Navy-North American program that would last 10 years and investigate hypersonic flight. Walt directed a great variety of other flight research programs, including that on the Boeing B-47; investigations using the Century Series fighters, F-100, F-102, F-104, F-105 and F-107; and the ones involving the X-1 #2, which became the X1-E. During Williams' career, he twice received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal and was nominated both to the Meritorious Rank and Distinguished Rank in the Federal Senior Executive Service. In 1963 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of engineering degree by Louisiana State University. He received several awards from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, including the Sylvanus Albert Reed Award for his contributions to supersonic and space flight in 1962 and the Haley Astronautics Award for his contributions to the advancement of space flight in 1964. His other honors and awards include the American Astronautical Society Space Flight Award in 1978, and the 1981 Federal Engineer of the Year Award by the National Society of Professional Engineers. Walter Charles Williams was born July 30, 1919, in New Orleans, Louisiana; he died October 7, 1995, in Tarzana, California.
Walter C. Williams (191...
24 Aug. 1954
 
Description Walter C. Williams was Chief of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics? and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration?s flight research organization on Edwards Air Force Base until his appointment as Associate Director of Project Mercury on September 15, 1959. Walt had started his career with NACA at Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in 1939 as an engineer in the Flight Division. In 1946 he transferred to the Muroc Army Air Field to be in charge of the small group of technicians and engineers who would be doing the flight research on a joint NACA-Army Air Forces program involving the rocket-powered Bell XS-1. See photo DIRECTORS E-49-0170, which addresses the first eight years of Walt?s responsibilities with NACA. Williams' achievements as Chief of the NACA/NASA High-Speed Flight Station for the next five years continued to be significant. NACA pilot Joseph A. Walker made the first of 20 NACA research flights in the Douglas X-3 ?Flying Stiletto?--on which inertial coupling was first experience--in 1954. The first NACA flight in an Lockheed F-104A aircraft occurred on August 27, 1956. On October 15, 1958, the first of three North American X-15 rocket research aircraft arrived at NASA High Speed Flight Station as preparations moved ahead for the highly successful NASA-Air Force-Navy-North American program that would last 10 years and investigate hypersonic flight. Walt directed a great variety of other flight research programs, including that on the Boeing B-47; investigations using the Century Series fighters, F-100, F-102, F-104, F-105 and F-107; and the ones involving the X-1 #2, which became the X1-E. During Williams' career, he twice received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal and was nominated both to the Meritorious Rank and Distinguished Rank in the Federal Senior Executive Service. In 1963 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of engineering degree by Louisiana State University. He received several awards from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, including the Sylvanus Albert Reed Award for his contributions to supersonic and space flight in 1962 and the Haley Astronautics Award for his contributions to the advancement of space flight in 1964. His other honors and awards include the American Astronautical Society Space Flight Award in 1978, and the 1981 Federal Engineer of the Year Award by the National Society of Professional Engineers. Walter Charles Williams was born July 30, 1919, in New Orleans, Louisiana; he died October 7, 1995, in Tarzana, California.
Cowboy Joe (NACA High-Speed Flight Station test pilot Joseph Walker) and his steed (Bell Aircraft Corporation X-1A) A happy Joe was photographed in 1955 at Edwards, California. The X-1A was flown six times by Bell Aircraft Company pilot Jean "Skip" Ziegler in 1953. Air Force test pilots Maj. Charles "Chuck" Yeager and Maj. Arthur "Kit" Murray made 18 flights between 21 November 1953 and 26 August 1954. The X-1A was then turned over to the NACA. Joe Walker piloted the first NACA flight on 20 July 1955. Walker attemped a second flight on 8 August 1955, but an explosion damaged the aircraft just before launch. Walker, unhurt, climbeed back into the JTB-29A mothership, and the X-1A was jettisoned over the Edwards AFB bombing range.
X-1A with pilot Joe Wal...
1955
 
Description Cowboy Joe (NACA High-Speed Flight Station test pilot Joseph Walker) and his steed (Bell Aircraft Corporation X-1A) A happy Joe was photographed in 1955 at Edwards, California. The X-1A was flown six times by Bell Aircraft Company pilot Jean "Skip" Ziegler in 1953. Air Force test pilots Maj. Charles "Chuck" Yeager and Maj. Arthur "Kit" Murray made 18 flights between 21 November 1953 and 26 August 1954. The X-1A was then turned over to the NACA. Joe Walker piloted the first NACA flight on 20 July 1955. Walker attemped a second flight on 8 August 1955, but an explosion damaged the aircraft just before launch. Walker, unhurt, climbeed back into the JTB-29A mothership, and the X-1A was jettisoned over the Edwards AFB bombing range.
Joe Walker in a pressure suit beside the X-1E at the NASA High-Speed Flight Station, Edwards,California. The dice and "Little Joe" are prominently displayed under the cockpit area. (Little Joe is a dice players slang term for two deuces.) Walker is shown in the photo wearing an early Air Force partial pressure suit. This protected the pilot if cockpit pressure was lost above 50,000 feet. Similar suits were used in such aircraft as B-47s, B-52s, F-104s, U-2s, and the X-2 and D-558-II research aircraft. Five years later, Walker reached 354,200 feet in the X-15. Similar artwork - reading "Little Joe the II" - was applied for the record flight. These cases are two of the few times that research aircraft carried such nose art.
Joe Walker in pressure ...
January 27, 1958
 
Description Joe Walker in a pressure suit beside the X-1E at the NASA High-Speed Flight Station, Edwards,California. The dice and "Little Joe" are prominently displayed under the cockpit area. (Little Joe is a dice players slang term for two deuces.) Walker is shown in the photo wearing an early Air Force partial pressure suit. This protected the pilot if cockpit pressure was lost above 50,000 feet. Similar suits were used in such aircraft as B-47s, B-52s, F-104s, U-2s, and the X-2 and D-558-II research aircraft. Five years later, Walker reached 354,200 feet in the X-15. Similar artwork - reading "Little Joe the II" - was applied for the record flight. These cases are two of the few times that research aircraft carried such nose art.
In March 1945 Joseph A. Walker joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics' Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory, Cleveland, Ohio, (later NASA's Lewis Research Center, now the Glenn Research Center) as a physicist. He transferred to the NACA High-Speed Flight Research Station, Edwards, California in 1951, as a research pilot. For the next fifteen years Walker served as a pilot at the Edwards flight research facility (today known as NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center) on such projects as the Bell X-1#2 (2 flights, first on August 27, 1951), Bell X-1A (1 flight on July 20, 1955), X-1E (21 flights, first on December 12, 1955), Douglas D-558-I #3 Skystreak (14 flights, first on June 29, 1951), Douglas D-558-II #2 Skyrocket (3 flights, first on April 29, 1955), Douglas D-558-II #3 Skyrocket (2 flights, first on May 7, 1954). On the Douglas X-3, Joe was project pilot and made all 20 flights, the first on August 1, 1954. Joe considered this aircraft the 'worst' plane he ever flew. He flew the Northrup X-4 (2 flights, first on October 18, 1951), Bell X-5 (78 flights, first on January 9, 1952). He also flew programs involving the F-100, F-101, F-102, F-104 and the B-47. Walker made the first NASA flight on the North American X-15 on March 25, 1960. His 25th and final X-15 flight on August 22, 1963, reached 354,200 feet, an unofficial record altitude of almost 67 miles. On October 30, 1964, Walker took the first Bell Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) on its maiden flight, reaching a peak altitude of 10 feet and a free flight time of just under one minute. Two LLRV's and three Lunar Landing Training Vehicles developed from them were used to develop piloting and operational techniques for lunar landings. In November, he left the program after 35 flights on the first LLRV. Walker flew chase flights as well as research flights. On June 8, 1966 he was flying chase in NASA's F-104N for the Air Force's experimental bomber, North American XB-70A, when he was fatally injured in a mid-air collision between the planes. Joe graduated from Washington and Jefferson College in 1942, with a Bachelors degree in Physics. He enrolled in the civilian pilot training program in 1941 and, after graduation from college, entered the Army Air Forces. During World War II he flew P-38 fighters and F-5A photo reconnaissance for the Air Force, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with Seven Oak Clusters. Walker was a charter member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and one of the first to be designated a Fellow. He was honored with the Robert J. Collier Trophy, the Harmon International Trophy for Aviators, the Iven C. Kincheloe Award and the Octave Chanute Award, all in 1961. He received an honorary Doctor of Aeronautical Sciences degree from his alma mater in June of 1961 and was named Pilot of the Year in 1963 by the National Pilots Association. Joseph Albert Walker was born February 20, 1921, in Washington, Pennsylvania; he died on
Joseph (Joe) A. Walker
1956
 
Description In March 1945 Joseph A. Walker joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics' Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory, Cleveland, Ohio, (later NASA's Lewis Research Center, now the Glenn Research Center) as a physicist. He transferred to the NACA High-Speed Flight Research Station, Edwards, California in 1951, as a research pilot. For the next fifteen years Walker served as a pilot at the Edwards flight research facility (today known as NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center) on such projects as the Bell X-1#2 (2 flights, first on August 27, 1951), Bell X-1A (1 flight on July 20, 1955), X-1E (21 flights, first on December 12, 1955), Douglas D-558-I #3 Skystreak (14 flights, first on June 29, 1951), Douglas D-558-II #2 Skyrocket (3 flights, first on April 29, 1955), Douglas D-558-II #3 Skyrocket (2 flights, first on May 7, 1954). On the Douglas X-3, Joe was project pilot and made all 20 flights, the first on August 1, 1954. Joe considered this aircraft the 'worst' plane he ever flew. He flew the Northrup X-4 (2 flights, first on October 18, 1951), Bell X-5 (78 flights, first on January 9, 1952). He also flew programs involving the F-100, F-101, F-102, F-104 and the B-47. Walker made the first NASA flight on the North American X-15 on March 25, 1960. His 25th and final X-15 flight on August 22, 1963, reached 354,200 feet, an unofficial record altitude of almost 67 miles. On October 30, 1964, Walker took the first Bell Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) on its maiden flight, reaching a peak altitude of 10 feet and a free flight time of just under one minute. Two LLRV's and three Lunar Landing Training Vehicles developed from them were used to develop piloting and operational techniques for lunar landings. In November, he left the program after 35 flights on the first LLRV. Walker flew chase flights as well as research flights. On June 8, 1966 he was flying chase in NASA's F-104N for the Air Force's experimental bomber, North American XB-70A, when he was fatally injured in a mid-air collision between the planes. Joe graduated from Washington and Jefferson College in 1942, with a Bachelors degree in Physics. He enrolled in the civilian pilot training program in 1941 and, after graduation from college, entered the Army Air Forces. During World War II he flew P-38 fighters and F-5A photo reconnaissance for the Air Force, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with Seven Oak Clusters. Walker was a charter member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and one of the first to be designated a Fellow. He was honored with the Robert J. Collier Trophy, the Harmon International Trophy for Aviators, the Iven C. Kincheloe Award and the Octave Chanute Award, all in 1961. He received an honorary Doctor of Aeronautical Sciences degree from his alma mater in June of 1961 and was named Pilot of the Year in 1963 by the National Pilots Association. Joseph Albert Walker was born February 20, 1921, in Washington, Pennsylvania; he died on
The NASA exceptional Service Medal presented at the NACA High Speed Flight Station. L-R: Hugh Dryden, Joe Walker (X-1A research pilot), Stan Butchart (pilot of the B-29 mothership), Richard Payne (X-1A crew chief).
The NACA Exceptional Se...
November 26, 1956
 
Description The NASA exceptional Service Medal presented at the NACA High Speed Flight Station. L-R: Hugh Dryden, Joe Walker (X-1A research pilot), Stan Butchart (pilot of the B-29 mothership), Richard Payne (X-1A crew chief).
This photo shows test pilots, (Left-Right) Joseph A. Walker, Stanley P. Butchart and Walter P. Jones, standing in front of the Douglas D-558-II Skystreak, in 1952. These three test pilots at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics? High-Speed Flight Research Station probably were discussing their flights in the aircraft. Joe flew research flights on the D-558-I #3 (14 flights, first on June 29, 1951) investigating buffeting, tail loads, and longitudinal stability. He flew the D-558-II #2 (3 flights, first on April 29, 1955) and recorded data on lateral stability and control. He also made pilot check-out flights in the D-558-II #3 (2 flights, first on May 7, 1954). For fifteen years Walker served as a pilot at the Edwards flight research facility (today known as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration?s Dryden Flight Research Center) on research flights as well as chase missions for other pilots on NASA and Air Force research programs. On June 8, 1966, he was flying chase in NASA?s F-104N for the Air Force?s experimental bomber, North American XB-70A, when he was fatally injured in a mid-air collision between the planes. Stan flew the D-558-I #3 (12 flights, first on October 19, 1951) to determine the dynamic longitudinal stability characteristics and investigations of the lateral stability and control. He made one flight in the D-558-II #3 on June 26, 1953, as a pilot check-out flight. Butchart retired from the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards, California, on February 27, 1976, after a 25-year career in research aviation. Stan served as a research pilot, chief pilot, and director of flight operations. Walter P. Jones was a research pilot for NACA from the fall of 1950 to July 1952. He had been in the U.S. Air Force as a pilot before joining the Station. Jones flew the D-558-I #3 (5 flights, first on February 13, 1951) to study buffeting, tail loads and longitudinal stability. Jones made research flights on the D-558-II #3 ( 7 flights, first on July 20, 1951). These flights investigated pitch-up and evaluated outboard wing fences. Walt also made research flights in the Northrop X-4 (14 flights, first on March 26, 1952) and the Bell X-5 (8 flights, first on June 20, 1952). In July 1952, Walt left NACA's High-Speed Flight Research Station to join Northrop Corporation as a pilot. Returning from a test mission in a Northrop YF-89D Scorpion he was fatally injured on October 20, 1953, near Edwards Air Force Base.
Test pilots 1952 - Walk...
March 18, 1952
 
Description This photo shows test pilots, (Left-Right) Joseph A. Walker, Stanley P. Butchart and Walter P. Jones, standing in front of the Douglas D-558-II Skystreak, in 1952. These three test pilots at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics? High-Speed Flight Research Station probably were discussing their flights in the aircraft. Joe flew research flights on the D-558-I #3 (14 flights, first on June 29, 1951) investigating buffeting, tail loads, and longitudinal stability. He flew the D-558-II #2 (3 flights, first on April 29, 1955) and recorded data on lateral stability and control. He also made pilot check-out flights in the D-558-II #3 (2 flights, first on May 7, 1954). For fifteen years Walker served as a pilot at the Edwards flight research facility (today known as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration?s Dryden Flight Research Center) on research flights as well as chase missions for other pilots on NASA and Air Force research programs. On June 8, 1966, he was flying chase in NASA?s F-104N for the Air Force?s experimental bomber, North American XB-70A, when he was fatally injured in a mid-air collision between the planes. Stan flew the D-558-I #3 (12 flights, first on October 19, 1951) to determine the dynamic longitudinal stability characteristics and investigations of the lateral stability and control. He made one flight in the D-558-II #3 on June 26, 1953, as a pilot check-out flight. Butchart retired from the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards, California, on February 27, 1976, after a 25-year career in research aviation. Stan served as a research pilot, chief pilot, and director of flight operations. Walter P. Jones was a research pilot for NACA from the fall of 1950 to July 1952. He had been in the U.S. Air Force as a pilot before joining the Station. Jones flew the D-558-I #3 (5 flights, first on February 13, 1951) to study buffeting, tail loads and longitudinal stability. Jones made research flights on the D-558-II #3 ( 7 flights, first on July 20, 1951). These flights investigated pitch-up and evaluated outboard wing fences. Walt also made research flights in the Northrop X-4 (14 flights, first on March 26, 1952) and the Bell X-5 (8 flights, first on June 20, 1952). In July 1952, Walt left NACA's High-Speed Flight Research Station to join Northrop Corporation as a pilot. Returning from a test mission in a Northrop YF-89D Scorpion he was fatally injured on October 20, 1953, near Edwards Air Force Base.
The research pilots at what in 1962 was called the Flight Research Center standing in front of the X-1E. They are (left to right) Neil Armstrong, Joe Walker, Bill Dana, Bruce Peterson, Jack McKay, Milt Thompson, and Stan Butchart. of the group, Armstrong, Walker, Dana, McKay and Thompson all flew the X-15. Bruce Peterson flew the M2-F2 and HL-10 lifting bodies, while Stan Butchart was the B-29 drop plane pilot for many of the D-558-II and X-1 series research aircraft.
Test pilots 1962 - Arms...
October 2, 1962
 
Description The research pilots at what in 1962 was called the Flight Research Center standing in front of the X-1E. They are (left to right) Neil Armstrong, Joe Walker, Bill Dana, Bruce Peterson, Jack McKay, Milt Thompson, and Stan Butchart. of the group, Armstrong, Walker, Dana, McKay and Thompson all flew the X-15. Bruce Peterson flew the M2-F2 and HL-10 lifting bodies, while Stan Butchart was the B-29 drop plane pilot for many of the D-558-II and X-1 series research aircraft.
A group photo of NASA research pilots at the front door of the Flight Research Center headquarters building. In the front row are (left to right) Milt Thompson, Jack McKay, and Bill Dana. All three flew the X-15, and Thompson and Dana were also involved in the lifting body flights. McKay was injured in a crash landing in X-15 #2. Although he recovered, the injuries eventually forced him to retire from research flying. In the back row (left to right) are Neil Armstrong, Bruce Peterson, Stanley Butchart, and Joe Walker. Armstrong and Walker also both flew the X-15. Soon after this photo was taken, Armstrong was selected as an astronaut, and seven years later became the first man to walk on the Moon. Walker made the highest flight in the X-15, reaching 354,200 feet. He then went on to fly the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle, and was killed on June 8, 1966 when his F-104N collided with the XB-70. Peterson made the first flight in the HL-10 lifting body, and was later badly injured in the crash of the M2-F2 lifting body. Butchart flew a wide range of research missions in the 1950s, and was the B-29 drop plane pilot for a number of rocket flight.
Test pilots 1962 - Thom...
October 2, 1962
 
Description A group photo of NASA research pilots at the front door of the Flight Research Center headquarters building. In the front row are (left to right) Milt Thompson, Jack McKay, and Bill Dana. All three flew the X-15, and Thompson and Dana were also involved in the lifting body flights. McKay was injured in a crash landing in X-15 #2. Although he recovered, the injuries eventually forced him to retire from research flying. In the back row (left to right) are Neil Armstrong, Bruce Peterson, Stanley Butchart, and Joe Walker. Armstrong and Walker also both flew the X-15. Soon after this photo was taken, Armstrong was selected as an astronaut, and seven years later became the first man to walk on the Moon. Walker made the highest flight in the X-15, reaching 354,200 feet. He then went on to fly the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle, and was killed on June 8, 1966 when his F-104N collided with the XB-70. Peterson made the first flight in the HL-10 lifting body, and was later badly injured in the crash of the M2-F2 lifting body. Butchart flew a wide range of research missions in the 1950s, and was the B-29 drop plane pilot for a number of rocket flight.
In this 1964 NASA Flight Research Center photograph, NASA Pilot Joe Walker is setting in the pilot?s platform of the the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) number 1. This photograph provides a good view of the pilot setting in front of the primary instrumentation panel. When Apollo planning was underway in 1960, NASA was looking for a simulator to profile the descent to the moon's surface. Three concepts surfaced: an electronic simulator, a tethered device, and the ambitious Dryden contribution, a free-flying vehicle. All three became serious projects, but eventually the NASA Flight Research Center's (FRC) Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) became the most significant one. Hubert M. Drake is credited with originating the idea, while Donald Bellman and Gene Matranga were senior engineers on the project, with Bellman, the project manager. Simultaneously, and independently, Bell Aerosystems Company, Buffalo, N.Y., a company with experience in vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft, had conceived a similar free-flying simulator and proposed their concept to NASA headquarters. NASA Headquarters put FRC and Bell together to collaborate. The challenge was; to allow a pilot to make a vertical landing on Earth in a simulated moon environment, one sixth of the Earth's gravity and with totally transparent aerodynamic forces in a "free flight" vehicle with no tether forces acting on it. Built of tubular aluminum like a giant four-legged bedstead, the vehicle was to simulate a lunar landing profile from around 1500 feet to the moon's surface. To do this, the LLRV had a General Electric CF-700-2V turbofan engine mounted vertically in gimbals, with 4200 pounds of thrust. The engine, using JP-4 fuel, got the vehicle up to the test altitude and was then throttled back to support five-sixths of the vehicle's weight, simulating the reduced gravity of the moon. Two hydrogen-peroxide lift rockets with thrust that could be varied from 100 to 500 pounds handled the LLRV's rate of descent and horizontal translations. Sixteen smaller hydrogen-peroxide rockets, mounted in pairs, gave the pilot control in pitch, yaw, and roll. On the LLRV, in case of jet engine failure, six-500-pounds-of thrust rockets could be used by the pilot to carefully apply lift thrust during the rapid descent to hopefully achieve a controllable landing. The pilot's platform extended forward between two legs while an electronics platform, similarly located, extended rearward. The pilot had a zero-zero ejection seat that would then lift him away to safety. Weight and balance design constraints were among the most challenging to meet for all phases of the program (design, development, operations). The two LLRVs were shipped disassembled from Bell to the FRC in April 1964, with program emphasis placed on vehicle No. 1. The scene then shifted to the old South Base area of Edwards Air Force Base. On the day of the first flight, Oct. 30, 1964, NASA research pilot Joe Walker flew it three times
Pilot Joe Walker in Lun...
October 30, 1964
 
Description In this 1964 NASA Flight Research Center photograph, NASA Pilot Joe Walker is setting in the pilot?s platform of the the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) number 1. This photograph provides a good view of the pilot setting in front of the primary instrumentation panel. When Apollo planning was underway in 1960, NASA was looking for a simulator to profile the descent to the moon's surface. Three concepts surfaced: an electronic simulator, a tethered device, and the ambitious Dryden contribution, a free-flying vehicle. All three became serious projects, but eventually the NASA Flight Research Center's (FRC) Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) became the most significant one. Hubert M. Drake is credited with originating the idea, while Donald Bellman and Gene Matranga were senior engineers on the project, with Bellman, the project manager. Simultaneously, and independently, Bell Aerosystems Company, Buffalo, N.Y., a company with experience in vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft, had conceived a similar free-flying simulator and proposed their concept to NASA headquarters. NASA Headquarters put FRC and Bell together to collaborate. The challenge was; to allow a pilot to make a vertical landing on Earth in a simulated moon environment, one sixth of the Earth's gravity and with totally transparent aerodynamic forces in a "free flight" vehicle with no tether forces acting on it. Built of tubular aluminum like a giant four-legged bedstead, the vehicle was to simulate a lunar landing profile from around 1500 feet to the moon's surface. To do this, the LLRV had a General Electric CF-700-2V turbofan engine mounted vertically in gimbals, with 4200 pounds of thrust. The engine, using JP-4 fuel, got the vehicle up to the test altitude and was then throttled back to support five-sixths of the vehicle's weight, simulating the reduced gravity of the moon. Two hydrogen-peroxide lift rockets with thrust that could be varied from 100 to 500 pounds handled the LLRV's rate of descent and horizontal translations. Sixteen smaller hydrogen-peroxide rockets, mounted in pairs, gave the pilot control in pitch, yaw, and roll. On the LLRV, in case of jet engine failure, six-500-pounds-of thrust rockets could be used by the pilot to carefully apply lift thrust during the rapid descent to hopefully achieve a controllable landing. The pilot's platform extended forward between two legs while an electronics platform, similarly located, extended rearward. The pilot had a zero-zero ejection seat that would then lift him away to safety. Weight and balance design constraints were among the most challenging to meet for all phases of the program (design, development, operations). The two LLRVs were shipped disassembled from Bell to the FRC in April 1964, with program emphasis placed on vehicle No. 1. The scene then shifted to the old South Base area of Edwards Air Force Base. On the day of the first flight, Oct. 30, 1964, NASA research pilot Joe Walker flew it three times
Joseph A. Walker was a ...
March 30, 1961
 
X-15 #2 with test pilot...
Joe Walker is seen here...
1961
 
X-1E with Pilot Joe Wal...
A photo of the X-1E wit...
1958
 
X-4 with Pilot Joe Walk...
In this 1952 photograph...
1952
 
Pilots Larry Walker and...
Pilots Larry Walker and...
 
B-29 mothership with pilots - Payne, Butchart, Walker, Littleton, and Moise
B-29 mothership with pi...
This photo shows the B-...
01.01.1953
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Test pilots 1952 - Walker, Butchart, and Jones
Test pilots 1952 - Walk...
This photo shows test p...
03.18.1952
Image
 
Joseph (Joe) A. Walker
Joseph (Joe) A. Walker
8, 1966 at Edwards, Cal...
01.01.1956
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X-15 #2 with test pilot Joe Walker
X-15 #2 with test pilot...
Joe Walker is seen here...
01.01.1961
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