United States Air Force
First Flight: 6/29/1965
Last Flight: 8/27/1985
Joe Henry Engle is an American pilot who served in the United States Air Force, test pilot for the North American X-15 program, aeronautical engineer, and a former NASA astronaut. As of 2018, he is the last living pilot of the X-15 program.
Engle test-flew the joint NASA-Air Force X-15 rocket airplane. During the course of testing, Engle earned his USAF Astronaut Wings, a Distinguished Flying Cross and other awards. Engle was selected by NASA in 1966 for the Apollo program, and was originally scheduled to land on the Moon as Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 17, but was bumped when later flights were cancelled, so that geologist-astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt could fly.
He subsequently became one of the first astronauts in the Space Shuttle program, having flight tested the Space Shuttle Enterprise in 1977. He was Commander of the second orbital test flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1981.
Type: Test Flight
Flight 143 of the North American X-15 was a test flight conducted by NASA and the US Air Force in 1965. Piloted by Joe H. Engle it reached an altitude of 82.6 km.
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Edwards Air Force Base
Air launch to Suborbital flight
79 rockets have launched from Air launch to Suborbital flight.
North American X-15 – North American Aviation
- Length: 15.47 m
- Diameter: 6.61 m
- Launch Mass: 15195 T
The North American X-15 was manufactured by North American Aviation with the first launch on 1959-06-08. North American X-15 has 12 successful launches and 1 failed launches with a total of 13 launches. The North American X-15 was a hypersonic rocket-powered aircraft operated by the United States Air Force and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as part of the X-plane series of experimental aircraft.
United States Air Force – USAF
- Type: Government
- Abbreviation: USAF
- Country: USA