Cover image for On the frontier : experimental flight at NASA Dryden
On the frontier : experimental flight at NASA Dryden
Hallion, Richard.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington : Smithsonian Books, [2003?]
Physical Description:
xxvi, 554 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TL521.312 .H3397 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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This detailed account of record-setting aircraft like the X-1 and X-15, flown by Chuck Yeager and others, includes all the cutting edge NASA and Defence Department programmes that perfected the aeronautical concepts and technology used in U.S. military, space, and commercial craft. This edition has been updated with new and recently released information, including three new chapters, dozens of rare photographs and the complete statistical record of nearly six decades of testing.

Author Notes

Richard Hallion has written many books about aviation history, including Storm over Iraq. He lives in Virginia
Michael Gorn is chief historian of NASA Dryden Flight Research Center and author of many books about aeronautics and spaceflight. He lives in California

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The authors have brought up to date the first author's first version (1984) of this authoritative story of the high speed X-planes, which were developed from the efforts of NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center with assistance from the US Air Force and the aviation industry. In the two decades since the appearance of the first version, the Dryden center has continued to contribute to American space efforts and explore new areas of aeronautical study. Gorn's primary task has been to add this new material to the book, and he has managed to do this in a seamless manner. Although a third of the book consists of scholarly apparatus, the aviation and space enthusiast will welcome the new addition as much as will the research scholar. The book also provides, as seen from the inside, a view of the politics of NASA in an era of diminishing resources. As might be expected, the book is well illustrated. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All levels. M. Levinson formerly, University of Washington

Table of Contents

Forewordp. viii
Foreword to the Second Editionp. x
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Prologue: A Most Exotic Placep. xiv
Introduction: An Indispensible Rolep. xxiii
I. Exploring the Supersonic Frontierp. 1
1. Confronting the Speed of Sound: 1944-1948p. 2
2. Pioneer Days at Muroc: 1948-1950p. 21
3. Testing the Shapes of Planes to Come: 1950-1956p. 38
4. Through Mach 2 and 3: 1951-1959p. 59
5. Testing Service Aircraft: 1953-1959p. 81
II. Into Space and Back Againp. 95
6. The X-15 Era: 1959-1968p. 96
7. Serving Gemini and Apollo: 1962-1967p. 126
8. Return from Space: The Lifting Bodies: 1962-1975p. 143
9. Aeronautics, the First "A" in NASA: 1966-1976p. 172
III. Pragmatic Pursuitsp. 197
10. A Mansion of Many Rooms: 1970-1976p. 198
11. Shifting Sand: 1976-1981p. 232
12. An Uneasy Marriage: 1981-1991p. 254
13. A Fresh Start, 1991-1999p. 288
Epilogue: "I Hadn't Missed It After All"p. 336
A Note on Sourcesp. 338
About the Authorsp. 341
Appendix A Organizational Charts, 1948-1999p. 344
Appendix B Personnel Summary for FRC/DFRC, Other Aeronautical Centers, and NASA as a Wholep. 355
Appendix C HSFS/FRC/DFRC Technical Facilitiesp. 357
Appendix D Authorized Funding for Research and Program Management at FRC/DFRC, Other OART/OAST/OAT Centers, and NASA Drydenp. 360
Appendix E Muroc Flight Test Unit-DFRC Research Aircraft, 1947-1999p. 362
Appendix F X-1 Program Flight Chronology, 1946-1958p. 378
Appendix G Douglas D-558 Program Flight Chronology, 1947-1956p. 386
Appendix H X-2 Program Flight Chronology, 1954-1956p. 396
Appendix I X-3 Program Flight Chronology, 1954-1956p. 397
Appendix J X-4 Program Flight Chronology, 1950-1953p. 399
Appendix K X-5 Program Flight Chronology, 1952-1955p. 401
Appendix L XF-92A Program Flight Chronology, 1953p. 405
Appendix M X-15 Program Flight Chronology, 1959-1968p. 406
Appendix N Lifting Body Program Flight Chronology, 1966-1975p. 415
Appendix O XB-70A Program Flight Chronology, 1967-1969p. 421
Appendix P YF--12 Program Flight Chronology, 1969-1978p. 423
Appendix Q Space Shuttle Approach and Landing Tests Flight Chronology, 1977p. 430
Appendix R Accident Statistics, 1954-1999p. 432
Appendix S Boeing 720B Controlled Impact Demonstration Flight Chronologyp. 435
Appendix T NF-111A (63-9778) Flight Chronologyp. 436
Appendix U NKC-135A (55-3129) Flight Chronologyp. 444
Appendix V F--18 #840 HARV Flight Chronologyp. 446
Appendix W X-29 Flight Chronologyp. 488
Appendix X X-31 Flight Chronologyp. 519
Appendix Y SR-71 Flight Chronologyp. 541
Indexp. 548