Wednesday, April 18, 2012
"The proposed X-15A-3 was a stretched, delta-winged version intended for extended duration flight at Mach 6+. As with the X-15 and X-15A-2 versions, the plan was to launch the X-15A-3 from a B-52 underwing pylong. However, North American Aviation proposed launching it from atop a B-70 bomber. The theory was that the B-70 could get the X-15 up to around Mach 3 prior to separation, thus greatly improving the rocketplanes performance."
Um... sick idea! Launching insane things from other insane things is a theme we need to continue. For example, why not get this XB-70 to launch off a giant blimp? More seriously, this kind of strategy comes back around every now and then. It would have been better for the Shuttle orbiter to fly from a reusable aircraft as initially designed.