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The North American X-15 rocket-powered aircraft is widely regarded as the world's first spaceplane. While not technically a true spacecraft, it set several speed and altitude records at the Dryden Flight Research Centre in California in the 1960s and skimmed the very edge of outer space. The altitude record it set for a manned, powered aircraft still holds as of 2014. Reflecting the joint operation of the program by NASA and the US Air Force, both civilian and military pilots had the opportunity to fly this unique craft, including the late moonwalker Neil Armstrong. The valuable data and experience gained from the project would significantly aid the development of supersonic aviation and spaceplanes.
About the model:
What can I say? This was crazy! I've never attempted a jet as difficult as this and it was really a shock to find out how odd the angles on this craft were. The cockpit section, for example, required at least 3-5 rebuilds before it started looking recognizable. But I must say that I am most satisfied with the results and all the various play features I managed to incorporate =). Check them out below:
- Fits 1 whole minifig, with space for controls (perhaps we could have a Neil Armstrong fig?)
- Opening canopy, just like the real thing! (see attached pics)
- Moveable ailerons and working air brakes, which extend to reveal more detail behind them!
- Retractable landing gear, consisting of the main wheel and 2 rear skids
- Detachable external tanks
- Detailed rocket engine exhaust nozzle
- Robust construction, for lots of swooshable fun!
- Includes a dirt base, representing the ground at the Dryden Flight Research Centre
- Includes 2 NASA technicians, with tractor and dolly for transporting the X-15 before and after flight
- Part count (X-15 and pilot + accessories) = 480 + 144 =624 bricks. Highly affordable!
Share and support! Spread the word to NASA and space fans so we can see this made into a real set!
Other interesting aerospace projects of mine you might want to check out: