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20001

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Taken in 1965 at Edwards during open house they held each year

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Paul Wisgerhof
North American XB-70 Valkrie
Harry Ellett
Yes, XB-70. As I recall a big problem for this aircraft was the nose gear was located so far behind the cockpit that it made a wild bouncy ride for the flight crew. Does anyone else remember anything about that?
Jim Quinn
I'd never seen a photo of the XB-70 with people surrounding it. It adds scale! This plane was huge, much larger than I had imagined. The thought comes to me (after reading about the bouncy ride in the flight deck, that it must be a real adventure getting into the front office in the first place...
a mentor
On June 8, 1966, an accident during a photo flight took the lives of two pilots and destroyed two airplanes—the XB-70A-2 and an F-104 that had been captured by the Valkyrie’s vortex wake.

The F-104 did a snap roll to its left which sheared off BOTH vertical stabs of the XB-70 sending in into a spiral dive killing the flight officers.

The surviving Valkyrie, XB-70A-1, continued to fly for NASA testing the flight regime of a supersonic transport and was later added to the collection at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, on Feb 4, 1969.
Jakob Xanther
What a beauty. Never saw pictures of this plane before.
Colin Seftel
With reference to the collision in June 1966, according to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_XB-70_Valkyrie) the XB-70 pilot Al White ejected and survived with serious injuries. The co-pilot Carl Cross and the F-104 pilot, NASA Chief Test Pilot Joe Walker were killed.
Some more facts about this aircraft:
Length: 185 ft 0 in (56.39 m)
Wingspan: 105 ft 0 in (32.00 m)
Height: 30 ft 0 in (9.14 m)
Wing area: 6,297 sq ft (585.0 m2)
Max takeoff weight: 542,000 lb (245,847 kg)
Fuel capacity: 300,000 pounds (140,000 kg) / 46,745 US gal (176,950 l)
Powerplant: 6 × General Electric YJ93-GE-3 afterburning turbojet, 19,900 lbf (89 kN) thrust each dry, 28,000 lbf (120 kN) with afterburner
Maximum speed: Mach 3.1
Cruise speed: Mach 2.6
Service ceiling: 77,350 ft
Tim Segulin
Just LOOK at the thing!
This transparency was taken when I was still in primary school, domestic airlines were just beginning to transition from the DC-3 to the Fokker F-27 and there were lots of Vickers Viscounts in service. The XB70 looks like it was being introduced to the public for the first time today. A remarkable design.
Loyd Enochs
The National Museum of the US Air Force has the only remaining XB-70A and it is on display indoors. It is the first of two completed (the second is the one that was involved in the accident mentioned by others). https://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/Museum-Exhibits/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/195767/north-american-xb-70-valkyrie/
Loyd Enochs
It is serial 62-001-A.
Keith Lutsch
It is breathtaking in person. I remember going up to the museum in Dayton in 1978 while in school, walking around it like they are and touching the engine inlets. Then seeing the B-36 inside the building (that was built around the B-36) made it a great visit. Need to get back as it has expanded dramatically in 40+ years.
fholbert
Such a pretty airplane. Thanks.
Rickh52
A truly awesome aircraft, one of my all time favorites. The original plan was for this aircraft to replace the B-52. Can you imagine a bomb wing of these aircraft!
John Freschl
Amazing photo!
adelma
North American had a long and difficult time in flight test before finally getting it up to Mach 3. That evening, they had a big celebrity gathering at a local watering house, and Lockheed's Jim Eastham, who'd been flying Black Airplanes at M 3+ for years, stopped by to tell the N.A. crew - "Now you'll know how Clarence Chamberlin feels."

Who's Clarence Chamberlin? He was the second man to fly the Atlantic after Lindbergh!

Very sad that they lost the #2 airplane and some great people shortly after . . .
Andrea Gentilini
The Valkyrie !!
What a beautiful bird it was !!
David Seider
I was fortunate enough to see one of the XB-70s at Wright-Pat AFB on an Armed Forces Day in the early '60s, although I was too young to really appreciate it (5-8 y.o.). I'll trust my Dad for telling me that it was so!

We have a Phantom Photobomb in this pic! This is either an F-4A or F-4B Phantom of VF-121, which in turn was part of Reserve Carrier Air Wing 12 (RCVW-12) carrying tail code 'NJ'. VF-121 was based at NAS Miramar, just a short hop from Edwards.
tom treutlein
North American produced some incredible aircraft back then. After building the p-51 F-86 and F-100 in the 40's and 50's they produced for the Navy the A-5 Vigilante a truly nuclear capable aircraft. This was cancelled by the Navy after a short production run because the Navy decided that missiles were the way to go. The Valkyrie cancelled for the same reason. The result North American went bust and merged with Rockwell. Check out photos of the A-5 another beautiful aircraft. You'll see some similarities with the Valkyrie
Jonah Crosby
geeeeeees
Robert Cowling
The front gear are in the middle of the plane? Yeah, the bobbing, and just the amazing slew as the plane turned would be enough to make me sick. But imagine how long the front gear would have to be, and how beefy it would have to be.

Still, it's sad that Congress couldn't get behind a SST plane like they got behind that tilt-rotor monstrosity. Equally sad that Congress couldn't get behind funding the Apollo program longer. We could have had a base on the Moon by now, and probably already be on the way to landing humans on Mars.
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