As early as 1946, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA, the forerunner of NASA) began experimenting with rocket planes, such as the Bell X-1. Additional experimental vehicles followed, including the X-15, which made more than 200 flights between 1958 and 1968. With the advent of the spacerace, however, the emphasis shifted to putting a man into space as soon as possible. The rocket plane design was abandoned for the simplest spacecraft that could be launched with existing rockets. This led to the choice of a small capsule, rather than the larger rocket plane. The X-15 conitnued in use for development of techniques and equipment needed for the space missions. This included jets for changing the orientation of a spacecraft, space suits for astronauts and horizon definition for navigation. The X-15 established an early altitude record for manned flight of 354,200 ft., or just over 67 miles. (Some info courtesy of Wikipedia.)
"Yeager's Conquest - Mach 1" by Roy Grinnell
print commemorates Chuck Yeager's historic flight on October 14, 1947 when he
broke the sound barrier in his X-1
Click on the thumbnail image for a large view, then click your browser's BACK
button to return here. The Presentation Proof edition, signed by both the artist
and Chuck Yeager, is in very limited supply. This lithograph comes
with a Certificate of Authenticity. There is a signed and numbered limited edition of 100 giclee
prints available on canvas or heavy paper, as well as an open edition print
signed by the artist.
Select your choice from the drop down list in the order form.
"The Record Setter" by Mark Karvon
The X-15 was designed to explore hypersonic speeds in excess of Mach 6 and altitudes over 300,000 feet. The aircraft was powered by a rocket engine dubbed "the million horsepower engine". In this dramatic print, Mark Karvon depicts X-15 "3" (the third of 3 built) at the fringes of the Earth's atmosphere. Click on the thumbnail image to get a larger view of the print, then click your browser's BACK button to return here. Mr. Karvon's prints are available in 3 sizes, on archival stock. Make your selection in the "Print Options" list.
"First Re-Entry" by Mike Machat
June 1965, 32 year old Air Force Captain Joe H. Engle enters the history books
as the youngest ever to qualify as an astronaut. He earned that distinction by
flying the third of three X-15's built to an altitude of 280,600 feet, more than
fifty miles above the earth's surface in what officially qualifies as outer
space. The X-15 became the most successful research aircraft ever flown, proving
the concept of manned, rocket-boosted exo-atmospheric flight, thus paving the
way for precision re-entry from space to a pre-determined landing site, a
concept used routinely for over 130 Space Shuttle missions flown since 1981.
This limited edition print (edition of 850) is reproduced from Mike's original
painting, with an image size of 27" x 13.25", on a 33.5" x 20.25" heavy weight
archival paper sheet. Each print is personally signed by Major General Joe
H. Engle and the artist. You can view a larger version of the image by
clicking on the thumbnail, then click your browser's BACK button to
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