Location: Pantego, Texas, United States

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Next week will mark the 50th anniversary of the first powered flight of the X-15, piloted by Scott Crossfield. That was my first time to experience the first flight of something I had worked on (though, in this case, only briefly). Of course in those days there was not the sort of TV coverage of test flights that we had later. There were some engineers throwing confetti in the air, etc. Years later I arranged an AIAA meeting where Crossfield spoke, and we talked about the days at North American while the X-15 was being designed. He pretended to recognize me, but there was no reason why he should since I had only spoken with him a few times in the hallway. Crossfield was tragically killed in a plane crash a few years ago. He was still piloting airplanes even though he must have been well into his 80's by that time.


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