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 Affairs Office.

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 these proceedings.

Kenneth E. Hodge
Chief, Dryden Aerospace Projects Office

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