20th Century Aviation And Space Pioneers   Scott Crossfield, Legendary Test Pilot, First Mach 2 Flight, X 15 Pilot by World Spaceflight News

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World Spaceflight News
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9781422006689
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Book review

This unique electronic book on CD-ROM has the finest collection of federal documents, photographs, and resources available anywhere about 20th century aviation and space pioneer Scott Crossfield. He died when his single-engine plane crashed in Georgia on April 19, 2006. Crossfield made aviation history on November 20, 1953, becoming the first person to fly at more than twice the speed of sound, or Mach 2. “Scott Crossfield was a true pioneer whose daring X-15 flights helped pave the way for the space shuttle," said NASA Administrator Mike Griffin. "NASA remembers Scott not only as one of the greatest pilots who ever flew, but as an expert aeronautical engineer, aerodynamicist, and designer who made significant contributions to the design and development of the X-15 research aircraft and to systems test, reliability engineering, and quality assurance for the Apollo command and service modules and Saturn V second stage.” "Scott Crossfield was a pioneer and a legend in the world of test flight and space flight," said Mike Coats, director of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. "Much of our technology used in the design of the space shuttle and in the development of the Constellation exploration program is based on the pathfinding work done by Mr. Crossfield in his numerous missions in the X-15. The astronaut corps and all of NASA are deeply saddened by his death, but his legacy will be with us through the centuries." Born in California in 1921, Crossfield went to the University of Washington and served in the Navy during World War II before joining NASA's predecessor, the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics - NACA, in 1950. As part of the elite test pilot cadre at the NACA High-Speed Flight Research Station -- now NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California -- Crossfield flew a series of test planes, logging 87 rocket flights and 12 jet flights in the early 1950s. He eventually worked for North American Aviation on the revolutionary X-15 rocket plane, guiding it on its first free flight in 1959. In 1993, NASA awarded him the Distinguished Public Service Medal for his contributions to aeronautics and aviation over a period spanning half a century. Scott Crossfield grew up in California and Washington. He served with the U. S. Navy as a flight instructor and fighter pilot during World War II. From 1946-50, he worked in the University of Washington’s Kirsten Wind Tunnel while earning his bachelor's and master's degrees in aeronautical engineering. In 1950, he joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics' High-Speed Flight Station (now the NASA Dryden Flight Research Facility) at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., as an aeronautical research pilot. Over the next five years, he flew nearly all of the experimental aircraft under test at Edwards, including the X-1, XF-92, X- 4, X-5, D-558-I and the Douglas D-558- II Skyrocket. On Nov. 20, 1953, he became the first man to fly at twice the speed of sound as he piloted the Skyrocket to a speed of 1,291 mph (Mach 2.005). With 99 flights in the rocket-powered X-1 and D-558-II, he had — by a wide margin — more experience with rocketplanes than any other pilot in the world by the time he left Edwards to join North American Aviation in 1955. As North American's chief engineering test pilot, he played a major role in the design and development of the X-15 and its systems. Once it was ready to fly, it was his job to demonstrate its airworthiness at speeds ranging up to Mach 3. Because the X-15 and its systems were unproven, these tests were considered extremely hazardous. On June 8, 1959, he completed the airplane's first flight, an unpowered glide from 37,550 feet. On Sept. 17, 1959, he completed the first powered flight. This CD-ROM is packed with over 14,000 pages reproduced using Adobe Acrobat PDF software - allowing direct viewing on Windows and Macintosh systems. The Acrobat cataloging technology adds enormous value and uncommon funct


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