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Operations Flight Report


FLIGHT NO: 3-65-97 DATE OF REPORT: 11-27-67

PILOT: Maj. Adams DATE OF FLIGHT: 11-15-67


ENGINE NO: S/N 111 APU #1 19AN APU #2 25AN

PURPOSE OF FLIGHT: 1. Ames Boost Guidance (29)

2. Solar Spectrum Measurement (29)

3. Ultraviolet Plume (3c)

4. Micrometeorite Collector (13)

5. Traversing Probe (32)

6. Saturn Insulation

7. Tip Pod Camera (42a)

8. Nose Gear Loads

I. Discussion of Previous Operations
    A. This will be the last flight report for X-15-3. The aircraft crew, instrumentation and operations, is to be commended for their spirit and team work they have had in maintaining the aircraft, enabling sometimes difficult flight schedules to be met.
II. Configuration Changes
    A. Engine S/N 103 was removed due to tube leakage in the throat area. Engine 104 was installed. During the ground run the MPV limit switch remained in the closed position, preventing starting of the main chamber. The engine was removed and S/N 110 was installed. One of the engine vibration units on 110 was bad, and the units were replaced as a set.

    After abort 3-A-96 engine 110 was replaced by engine 108, because engine 110 failed to get into igniter idle. Engine 108 was subsequently removed due to leakage at the fuel case split halves, and engine 111 installed.

    B. The left hand upper speed brake was coated with insulation by NAR, Seal Beach for the Saturn program. Four T/C's were added by NAR in the insulation.

    During abort 3-A-96 this insulation came off due to bond failure because of inadequate cleaning of the speed brake which was previously coated with ablative material. A new batch of foam insulation was bonded to an aluminum plate which was bonded to fiberglass. This assembly was then bonded to the speed brake and the corners tacked down with rivets.

    C. The cold-wall instrumentation requirement was deleted for this flight.

    D. The traversing probe in the right hand forward tip pod was made operational, and the instrumentation hooked up.

    E. The micrometeorite pod was sent to NAR. (Ref. item IA of report for 3-64-95) NAR replaced the sheet metal bracket which holds the stepping solenoid with a machined bracket to help prevent the binding which has occurred.

    F. The CEU and platform were changed on 6 November due to a CEU problem found during the re-preflight activity.

III. Preflight Events
    A. An engine run with engine 104 was attempted on 26 October, but was not accomplished due to the main prop valve limit switch being stuck closed.

    B. APU and BCS runs were accomplished on 26 October.

    C. On 30 October an engine run with engine 110 was accomplished. A vibration problem was encountered, so both vibration units and accelerometers were changed prior to flight.

    D. The aircraft was mated to B-52 #008 on 31 October for a flight attempt (3-A-96) the same day. Flight was aborted just prior to launch as the engine failed to attain igniter idle. The camera for experiment 3-C was operated during captive return to check its operation.

    E. The aircraft was demated on 31 October, to trouble shoot the engine and release the B-52 for phase inspection.

    F. The lower bugeye was removed for heater repair (did not work in flight) while the engine was being changed.

    G. A ground run was attempted on engine 108 on 3 November. Due to a fuel leak out the fuel case split halves, the main chamber was not operated. Igniter idle was attained as a check on the flight problem.

    H. Due to the required engine change and B-52 problems, functionals were redone starting 6 November.

    I. Good engine, APU, and BCS runs were accomplished on 9 November.

    J. The aircraft was closed out on 13 November, but was not mated as flight was delayed one day due to weather.

    K. The aircraft was mated to B-52 #008 on 14 November.

IV. Flight Events
    A. Servicing was normal. After pilot entry a glitch was reported on the "g" tape, but this is not a "no go" item since there is a second, mechanical "g" meter.

    B. After launch and engine shutdown, a computer malfunction light was reported. This was followed by a reported damper tripout and reset. During reentry, the pilot reported a spin, followed by loss of TM and radar. The aircraft crashed in the Cuddeback area. An investigation is in progress and a complete report will be made by the investigation team.

Approved By: Prepared by:

Perry V. Row Vincent N. Capasso

Head, Operations Engineering X-15 Project Engineer


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