Takeoff for an
The B-52 carrier aircraft rotates for
takeoff on an X-15 mission. An F-104 chase plane prepares to join
This B-52 is actually a Boeing NB-52A, Air Force Serial Number 52-003,
known as "Balls 3" at NASA Dryden and the AFFTC (Air Force Flight Test
Center) at Edwards Air Force Base. This was the third of three
B-52A models manufactured at the start of the B-52 production run.
The second carrier aircraft was an NB-52B, which entered NASA
service for this purpose in 1959. This aircraft remains in service at
the time this web page is edited, having carried the X-43A Hyper-X on
March 27, 2004. With delivery to the Air Force in 1955 it has already
been the oldest B-52 in active service for several decades, and it
stands at the brink of logging half a century of active duty.
This image of a NASA photo was imported from the Apogee
CDROM packaged with their book, X-15 - The