Proceedings of the X-15 First Flight 30th Anniversary Celebration
Credit for the concept of a celebration to mark the
30th anniversary of the first free flight of the X-15 rocket
powered research aircraft belongs to Milton 0. Thompson,
Ames-Dryden Flight Research Facility (DFRF) Chief
Engineer and himself a former X-15 research pilot. With
the Ames Research Center management solidly behind
us, a small committee was formed to develop the program
and see that the multitudinous tasks were accomplished
and necessary policies established. Milt applied his
legendary powers of persuasion and obtained commitments
to participate from X-15 program alumni and other aerospace
notables. A firm prior commitment, however, did
preclude participation by former X-15 pilot Neil Armstrong.
To the dozens of NASA and support contractor employees who
through their contributions and hard work made
this celebration a success, our heartfelt gratitude.
At the risk of oversight, several individuals must be recognized
for their service on the organizing committee:
Don Bacon, DFRF Research Engineering Division - management of funds.
Jeff Bauer, DFRF Flight Systems Branch - marshaling support
of the Dryden History Committee.
Nancy Lovato, DFRF Public Affairs Office - publicity and protocol.
Ralph Jackson, X-15-era Public Affairs Office - outreach
to X-15 alumni and general support to DFRF Public
Dan Viney, Woodside Summit - provision of support services.
Cie (Cecile) Kratz, Woodside Summit - celebration administrator
and coordinator of travel of out-of-town program participants.
Attendees at the celebration's technical symposium were
provided an X-15 Flight Log and Facts Sheet; these are
included as appendix A. As an aid to readers, a list
of acronyms and X-15 nomenclature is provided as appendix B.
It has been my pleasure to serve as program chairman
of the X-15 30th anniversary celebration and to prepare
Kenneth E. Hodge
Chief, Dryden Aerospace Projects Office