Volume 1: The X-15 Page 5

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The Project X-15 for Orbiter faithfully replicates the typical X-15 flight “range” from release around 200 miles away to the landing base at Edwards AFB. Along the way are the historically accurate dry lakebeds that were occasionally used during the X-15 program in the event of an emergency such as a premature engine shutdown or some other controllability problem. While the scenery isn’t fantastic by Microsoft Flight Sim standards, it is adequate to get the job done.

“At Edwards, we normally made 360-degree overhead approaches into runway one-eight. High-key altitude was nominally 35,000 feet and low-key altitude was 18,000 to 20,000 feet. Airspeed in the pattern varied with each individual pilot, but usually ranged between 240 and 300 knots. We rolled out on final at about 8,000 to 10,000 feet, ideally at 300 knots in roughly an 18- to 20-degree glide angle. We maintained the steep final approach until about 1,000 feet above the ground and then initiated the flare for landing. The aim point during the final approach was roughly half a mile short of the runway, which would result in a touchdown about a mile down the runway. The length of runway one-eight was 4.5 miles, so we had 3.5 miles remaining to slide out.”  – page 156

Orbiter

Orbiter

Orbiter

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