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Volume 46 | Issue 7 | August 2004

Research Roundup

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Lakebed Legacies

Aug. 29, 1947 - The Bell X-1 No. 2 (46-063) was transferred to the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics for transonic and supersonic flight research. The program began with one glide flight and included 53 successful powered flights, ending with a glide flight (due to an engine malfunction). These flights took place between 1947 and 1950. The airplane was later converted to the X-1E configuration. It is currently on display in front of Building 4800.

Aug. 24, 1956 - The NACA High Speed Flight Station receives a Lockheed YF-104A (no. 55-2961), later designated NASA 818. Between August 1956 and November 1975, the airplane made 1,444 research and support flights. The airplane is now on permanent display at the Smithsonian Institution National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Aug. 16, 1963 - First air tow of M2-F1 lifting body research vehicle behind the C-47. The unpowered M2-F1 was towed aloft by the C-47 a total of 78 times between August 1963 and August 1966 as well as towed hundreds of times behind a Pontiac convertible. The M2-F1 is currently stored at Dryden.

Aug. 19, 1963 - Joe Walker delivered the first F-104N (NASA 011/NASA 811) to the Flight Research Center. It was the first of three F-104N airplanes built specifically for NASA by Lockheed Aircraft Corp. Between August 1963 and October 1987, the airplane made 4,370 flights. It is now on display at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University campus in Prescott, Ariz.

Aug. 1, 1973 - Prior to the first flight of the Martin Marietta X-24B, pilot John Manke found a sign in the cockpit that read: "Honestly now, have you read the instructions?" Between August 1973 and November 1975, the X-24B made 36 flights. It was launched from beneath the wing of the FRC's NB-52B. The X-24B currently is on display at the U.S. Air Force Museum near Dayton, Ohio.

Aug. 21, 1974 - Dryden engineer Dale Reed's Mini Sniffer RPRV made its first flight.

Aug. 16, 1979 - The Space Shuttle orbiter Enterprise (OV-101) was ferried to Dryden from Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.

Aug. 13, 1980 - XV-15 (N703NA) was delivered to Dryden inside a C-5A.