Assuming that the XB-70 was used as a launch aircraft, what speed/altitude/attitude would be required for successful separation between the X-15 and XB-70?

Did the XB-70 + X-15 combination ever make it as far as wind tunnel testing, or was the painting of the X-15 launching from the XB-70 merely a piece of PR artwork?
 
CFE said:
Did the XB-70 + X-15 combination ever make it as far as wind tunnel testing, or was the painting of the X-15 launching from the XB-70 merely a piece of PR artwork?

It was more PR than engineering. By that point, it was well known that launching something off the back of a Mach 3 plane was suicide.

There were also plans for launching from underneath a B-70 (such as the orbital X-15B proposal), but those would have required either landing gear modifications or launching from a trolley of some kind.
 
In the late '60s NASA studied at least two basic delta X-15 configurations, with two variations of one (wing slightly forward in one). All dimensions are in centimeters. Don't know scale used. Original report here http://hdl.handle.net/2060/19700001407
 

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That's my personal contribution to this interesting topic (extracted from a presentation I did the last November in Montecatini to the last AstronautiCon convention...).

Enhoy it....
 

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Dennis' opus of the X-15 program finally freely available online here http://hdl.handle.net/2060/20080008340. Interesting and precise info on the delta-wing X-15. And at page 306 a fine series of drawing of the B-36D carrier aircraft, for Archipeppe, in case he wanted to update his presentation rendering... ;)
 
Skybolt said:
(...) And at page 306 a fine series of drawing of the B-36D carrier aircraft, for Archipeppe, in case he wanted to update his presentation rendering... ;)

Of course Skybolt!!

Many thanks for your precious suggestion, I'd really missed these info..... :)
 
Skybolt said:
Dennis' opus of the X-15 program finally freely available online here http://hdl.handle.net/2060/20080008340. Interesting and precise info on the delta-wing X-15. And at page 306 a fine series of drawing of the B-36D carrier aircraft, for Archipeppe, in case he wanted to update his presentation rendering... ;)

What a great read, thanks for sharing this!
 
Delta-wing X-15 wind tunnel model from
photo (c) Greg Goebel
Seattle Museum of Flight, Washington
source http://www.vectorsite.net/gfxpxc_10.html
 

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Orionblamblam said:
CFE said:
Did the XB-70 + X-15 combination ever make it as far as wind tunnel testing, or was the painting of the X-15 launching from the XB-70 merely a piece of PR artwork?

It was more PR than engineering. By that point, it was well known that launching something off the back of a Mach 3 plane was suicide.

There were also plans for launching from underneath a B-70 (such as the orbital X-15B proposal), but those would have required either landing gear modifications or launching from a trolley of some kind.
Uhm "suicide?" How so? It was well known that launching off the back of a delta-wing platform was relativly safe as long as positive control was maintained at all times between the launch vehicle and the launched vehicle. Due to the more pronounced "nose-up" atitude of the supersonic carrier aircraft there was also a much bigger "space" between the back of the aircraft and the "mach-shock" of the carrier aircraft than a bottom mount position. NASA did a study of using their own SR-71s to launch a fairly substantial sized test vehicle in the 90s and no issues were indicated.

I suspect you're thinking of the M-20/D-21 accident? That was due to a control failure on the drone. The drones were set at an angle for launch where they had positive lift away from the carrier vehicle, with the drone control systems taking active command JUST before the drone passed through the CV Mach-shock. In this case a malfunction of the control system ordered the drone to pitch DOWN as soon as the system took over and caused it to collide with the CV.

The biggest issue with launching the proposed delta-wing X-15 (and booster in some cases) from the XB-70 was ensuring positve seperation prior to engine ignition. The X-15 was rather "heavy" for its wing loading in all configurations so there were a lot of questions if it could generate enough overall "lift" in the realtivly "still" (calm at any rate) air flow over the back of the delta-wing.

Going to read those reports and see if that's mentioned in there.

Randy
 
IIRC, the built X-15s' stubby wings were rather 'square'. Would the delta form have less heating of their sharply swept leading edge ??
 
Delta-wing X-15 with canted wingtip verticals. I am unfamiliar with this variant.
 

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That's an earlier iteration of the design, before NAA finalized the "diamond" shaped tip-fins. Oddly, Lockheed had a CL-number for this configuration... I'm not sure why Lockheed would think they were going to build an X-15. Perhaps they thought they'd get the contract to modify an NAA X-15A-2 into this configuration.
 
I'm guessing NAA must have been insecure about whether the central tail had enough area to provide enough yaw authority at such high speeds and tried to compensate by sticking two more vertical surfaces on there. It wasn't the first time they had that concern. Their Long Range Interceptor designs had two vertical surfaces on the wings mid-span.
 
I understand the delta wing configuration was to be used with a Titan, Navaho or a Scout launch vehicle and was therefore probably seen as a possible space vehicle - although that's just my guess.
 
Model of North American X-15 and North American X-15-A3 manufactured by Topping found on eBay.

Source:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-Topping-X-15-and-X-15-A3-in-NASA-markings-/180995606515?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a242dc7f3
 

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The description is somewhat confusing. Is he saying it's a Topping X-15A3 or that he's modifying a Topping model to create an X-15A3?
 
George Allegrezza said:
The description is somewhat confusing. Is he saying it's a Topping X-15A3 or that he's modifying a Topping model to create an X-15A3?

Shoot! Re-reading the description, it looks like he's modifying an existing Topping X-15 model to create the X-15A3.
 

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What was the proposed use for this delta adaptation. Was it to be carried close to enemy borders ( halfway around the globe ) released to enter at high speed, deliver a payload/bomb on a city and have fuel to land. I'm assuming this was all to be a similar flight altitude to the early X-15 flights, as in almost sub orbital. How far was it planned to fly? and was there a[/size]ny though[/size]t to put it into orbital. if so was any additional re-entry protection considered.? I [/size]know they painted some or one of the later X-15s white. ( like the lead entry photo ) I presume this was heat ablative paint - only enough to survive the heat friction generated by the mach 6+ speed. Best regards
 
Zeppelin said:
What was the proposed use for this delta adaptation. Was it to be carried close to enemy borders ( halfway around the globe ) released to enter at high speed, deliver a payload/bomb on a city and have fuel to land.

Huh? It was a test vehicle and not a weapons system.
 
Sorry, I guess I mistook all that launching of the back of the XB-70, or riding atop of large rockets to have something to do with fast deployment military applications. although, I could not quite see where they could carry anything other than a awful lot of fuel. Apologies, I should apply these Q's to your Future Speculations forum. That said would using a rocket launch begin to approach an orbital use? or was the rocket ride just to reach a high altitude separation.
 
I'll help you out, bud. Here's a link the the Orbital X-15 thread. ;)

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,230.0.html
 
source: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/56c78acd0442626b2590f5ea/t/59059235b3db2ba7ea02a699/1493537352324/2011-1_Spring.pdf
 

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Thread about a (part) paper model of the delta winged X-15.

 

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These links don't seem to exist anymore - can someone help me find?
 
Also from this report.
 

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