X-15 Documents
a web library

This section contains copies of documents for viewing or downloading on the web. Content at the start of July, 2005 is minimal but will grow relentlessly.

Thanks are due to NASA for making these documents publicly available through the NASA Technical Reports Server  (NTRS), the NASA Dryden Technical Reports Server, and history offices at several NASA and Air Force facilities. Documents which were created with public (government) funding are not copyrighted, public funding indicates public ownership. However, thet documents should not be used for commercial purposes without prior written approval of the the publishing organization, which is NASA in most cases.

Click on thumbnail of cover to see a larger renditions of the same cover, as well as links to the document itself.

Major Documents
Cover Document Source Description
Hypersonics Before the Shuttle (X-15) Hypersonics Before the Shuttle
NASA SP2000-4518
pdf on NASA History Division web site
132-page NASA monograph by Dennis R. Jenkins: Monographs in Aerospace History Number 18, 2000
X-15 Research Results cover X-15 Research Results
pdf in NTRS archive 128-page NASA report by Wendell H. Stillwell, 1965
Proceedings of the X-15 First Flight 30th Anniversary Celebration Proceedings of the X-15 First Flight 30th Anniversary Celebration
NASA CP-3105
pdf in NASA Dryden Technical Reports Server 175-page proceedings of conference at NASA Dryden commemorating the X-15 research program, June 8, 1989. 
(File is 26 megabytes)
Cover of X-15 Flight Manual X-15 Flight Manual
North American Aviation T.O. 1X-15-1 (FHB 23-1)
Scanned from original document 126-page manual describing the X-15 aircraft, its systems, and operating procedures
(File is 60 megabytes, this is a high resolution color scan)
Trouble downloading the Flight Manual as 1 huge file?   Click here for an index to separate files for each section
X-15 design proposal X-15 design proposal
North American Aviation document 55WCS-9229-AA
Scanned from photocopy of original document 62-page design proposal submitted by North American Aviation May 9, 1955
(File is 24 megabytes)

Technical Reports
Cover Document Source Description
NASA Technical Note D-1058, Flight Flutter Results for Flat Rectangular Panels Flight Flutter Results for Flat Rectangular Panels
NASA TN D-1058
pdf in NTRS archive 12-page NASA technical note by Eldon E. Kordis and Richard B. Noll, 1962.  Studies supersonic flutter of skin panels, comparing theory with flight test results.  Describes structural engineering used in X-15 vertical stabilizers and fuselage side fairings to (1)  prevent flutter; (2) conserve structural weight; and (3) accomodate thermal stress at hypersonic speeds.
NASA CR-82003 Design Report - Thermal Protection System, X-15A-2 Design Report - Thermal Protection System X-15A-2
NASA CR-82003
pdf in NTRS archive 322-page contractor report to NASA by A.B. Price, Martin Marietta Corporation, 1968.  Describes the ablative material and related changes designed for flight to Mach 7.4 with X-15A-2.
(File is 90 megabytes)
X-15 Flight experience with shock wave impingement Flight Experience with Shock Impingement and Interface Heating on the X-15-2 Research Airplane
NASA TM X-1669
pdf in NTRS archive 29-page NASA technical memorandum by Joe D. Watts, 1968
Describes and analyzes unpredicted heating on the Mach 6.7 flight of X-15 #2, which produced major unexpected heating damage

More technical reports and technical notes will be added to this list over a long period of time -- I'm reviewing about 3,000 online documents to pick out those directly or indirectly involved with the X-15 program, plus being prepared to scan a few from hard copy.

Send questions and comments on this and other SierraFoot X-15 web pages to Paul Raveling.
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