Make Your Career Soar

Forty-eight years ago this month, USAF Major Robert A. Rushworth flew the 100th flight test of the X-15 Program.  Piloting his 18th mission in the manned hypersonic aircraft, Rushworth achieved a maximum speed of 3,618 mph (Mach 5.34 ) in X-15 Ship No. 1 (S/N 56-6670).  The date was Tuesday, 28 January 1964.  Peak altitude attained during the 8 minute and 17 second flight was 107,402 feet.  Using a trio of aircraft, the X-15 Program would go on to register 199 official research missions between June of 1959 and October of 1968.  Bob Rushworth flew 34 of those missions; more than any of the twelve men who piloted the famed black rocket-plane.  Bob Rushworth had many notable experiences while at the controls of the X-15 including one episode where the nose gear deployed above Mach 4.2 and another where a main landing skid deployed above Mach 4.4!  Each time he was able to get the airplane back on the ground in one piece.  On a more positive note, Bob Rushworth flew the X-15 as fast as 4,018 mph (Mach 6.06) and as high as 285,000 feet.  For this latter achievement, Rushworth was awarded Astronaut Wings by the United States Air Force.

Posted in Aerospace, History

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