Goleta Air and Space Museum: NB-52B Stratofortress Launch Platform - Unmanned Vehicles


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NB-52B, 52-0008 at Edwards AFB Open House, November 13, 1977 The yellow NASA tailband had been applied to the NB-52B when it appeared at the November 13, 1977 Edwards AFB Open House. Photographer: Brian Lockett.

F-15 RPRV on the X-15 pylon of NB-52B, 52-0008 at Edwards AFB Open House, November 12, 1978 A 3/8-scale F-15 Remotely Piloted Research Vehicle was displayed on the pylon of the NB-52B at the November 12, 1978 Edwards AFB Open House. During the flight test program of the F-15, the F-15 RPRV was used to perform dangerous flight maneuvers, particularly spins, without putting a human pilot at risk. Initially the drone was recovered by helicopter after deploying a parachute. There were a couple of times when the helicopter failed to snag the RPRV. Even though it was suspended from a parachute, the vertical velocity at landing resulted in significant damage to the drone. A retractable skid landing gear was installed, and subsequent flights were flown to a landing on the dry lakebed by the RPRV's remote pilot. Photographer: Brian Lockett.

Link to a NASA Dryden F-15 Remotely Piloted Research Vehicle photo

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NB-52B, 52-0008 with the HiMat Adaapter on its X-15 pylon at Edwards AFB Open House, October 5, 1980 The NB-52B appeared at the October 5, 1980 Edwards AFB Open House fitted with the High Manueverability Aircraft Technology (HiMAT) adapter on the X-15 pylon. The HiMAT research vehicles were flown from mid 1979 to January 1983 demonstrated the use of composites, aeroelastic tailoring, close-coupled canards, and winglets that could be used in the development of future high performance military aircraft. Photographer: Brian Lockett.

NB-52B, 52-0008 at Edwards AFB Open House, November 20, 1981 The NB-52B on static display at the September 20, 1981 Edwards AFB Open House. Photographer: Brian Lockett.

NB-52B, 52-0008 at Edwards AFB Open House, October 23, 1982 The NB-52B on static display at the October 23, 1982 Edwards AFB Open House. Photographer: Brian Lockett.

Drone for Aeroealstice Structures Testing (DAST) II at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, January 6, 1983 The Drone for Aeroelastic Structure Testing (DAST) was based on a Ryan Firebee drone. It is seen here in the NASA Dryden hangar on January 6, 1983. It was equipped with smooth surfaced wings with flexible skins and internal actuators instead of traditional hinged, fixed-contour flight control surfaces. The intent was to delay the onset of stall by eliminating discontinuities in the surface contour of the wing, and to provide complete control over wing camber to provide optimal lift at all speeds, altitudes, and maneuvering conditions. Photographer: Brian Lockett.

Link to NASA Dryden DAST Photo Gallery Contact Sheet.

NB-52B, 52-0008 with HiMat at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, January 6, 1983 A HiMAT drone is mounted on the NB-52B on January 6, 1983, shortly before the last flight of the program. The two vehicles were flown a total of 26 times during the three and one-half year program. Photographer: Brian Lockett.

NB-52B, 52-0008 at Edwards AFB, November 1985 The NB-52B at Edwards AFB in November of 1985. Photo by Cliff Bossie via Greg Spahr.

NB-52B, 52-0008 at Edwards AFB Open House, November 9, 1986 A long lens was used to take this photo of the NB-52B at the November 9, 1986 Edwards AFB Open House. Photographer: Brian Lockett.

NB-52A, 52-0003 at the Pima Air Museum, Arizona, November 24, 1986 The NB-52A survives in the Pima Air Museum near Tucson, Arizona. It is seen here on November 24, 1986 adjacent to the Boeing YC-14. Photographer: Brian Lockett.

Link to the Pima Air Museum's NB-52A page or their home page.

HiMat on the X-15 pylon of NB-52B, 52-0008 at Edwards AFB Open House, November 8, 1987 At the November 8, 1987 Edwards AFB Open House, the NB-52B was displayed with a HiMAT drone attached to the pylon, although the HiMAT program had ended over four years earlier. Photographer: Brian Lockett.

One of the HiMAT drones is on display in the "Beyond the Limits" gallery at the National Air and Space Museum.

Link to NASA Dryden Highly Maneuverable Aircraft Technology (HiMAT) Photo Gallery Contact Sheet.

Link to NASA Dryden HiMAT Fact Sheet .

NB-52B, 52-0008 at Edwards AFB, May 1989 It was a cloudy day in May 1989 when this photo was taken of the NB-52B on the NASA Dryden flightline. Photo by Craig Kaston via Paul Minert and Greg Spahr.

NB-52B, 52-0008 at Edwards AFB Open House, Octobe 29, 1989 The NB-52B on static display at the October 29, 1989 Edwards AFB Open House. Photographer: Brian Lockett.

NB-52B, 52-0008 at Edwards AFB Open House, October 29, 1989 Close-up of the mission scoreboard on the side of the NB-52B shows the remarkable variety of programs that is has supported. In addition to launching the aircraft depicted on these pages, it has tested parachute recovery systems for the F-111 crew escape module and the Space Shuttle solid fuel boosters. It has also been used in wake-vortex testing and acted as an air to air target. This photo was taken at the October 29, 1989 Edwards AFB Open House. Photographer: Brian Lockett.

Orbital Sciences' Pegasus on NB-52B at October 6, 1990 Edwards AFB Open House The NB-52B became the world's first manned, winged, return to launch site satellite launcher when it launched the Orbital Sciences' Pegasus booster on April 5, 1990. It was displayed with a Pegasus at the October 6, 1990 Edwards AFB Open House. Six Pegasus launches were conducted by the NB-52B, and the last Pegasus launch from the NB-52B took place on August 3, 1994. Photographer: Brian Lockett.

Pegasus launches are now conducted from a Lockheed L-1011.

Link to Orbital Sciences' home page.

Link to NASA Dryden Pegasus Photo Gallery Contact Sheet.

NB-52B, 52-0008 at Edwards AFB Open House, October 6, 1990 The NB-52B was also being used to test the Space Shuttle Drag Chute in 1990. The boxy structure under the empennage of the stratofortress holds the drag chute mechanism. Photographer: Brian Lockett.

NB-52B, 52-0008 at Edwards AFB Open House, November 6, 1991 The NB-52B on static display at the November 6, 1991 Edwards AFB Open House. Photographer: Brian Lockett.

NB-52B, 52-0008 at Edwards AFB Open House, October 18, 1992The NB-52B on static display at the October 18, 1992 Edwards AFB Open House. Photographer: Brian Lockett.

NB-52B, 52-0008 over the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, June 30, 1995 The NB-52B is seen in flight over the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center on the fortieth anniversary of its arrival at Edwards Air Force Base on June 30, 1995. Photographer: Brian Lockett.

NB-52B, 52-0008 equipped with a pair of J85 jet engines at Edwards AFB on June 30, 1995 NB-52B, 52-0008 was equipped with with a pair of J85 jet engines attached to a pallet in the bomb bay on June 30, 1995.

The NB-52B launched the X-15 #1 twenty-six times, the X-15 #2 fourteen times in its original configuration and fifteen times as the X-15A-2, and the X-15 #3 thirty four times. It launched the M2-F2 twelve times in its original configuration and twenty-seven times as the M2-F3. It launched the HL-10 thirty four times, the X-24A twenty-six times and the X-24B thirty-six times.

Link to the NASA Dryden B-52 Mothership Photo Gallery Contact Sheet


More NB-52B Displays

Boeing NB-52B Stratofortress dislays Boeing NB-52B Stratofortress Mothership.


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eBook edition of Balls Eight: History of the Boeing NB-52B Stratofortress Mothership

My book Balls Eight: History of the Boeing NB-52B Stratofortress Mothership is now available as an eBook for just $10.99, a considerably reduced price compared to the print edition.

It has been asserted that the Boeing NB-52B Stratofortress, carrying Air Force serial 52-0008, can lay claim to being the airplane that has seen and participated in more history than any other single airplane. For forty-five years, the NB-52B was a fixture at Edwards Air Force Base. While the NB-52B is most famous for launching the three North American X-15 rocket planes, it continued to serve in the role of launch platform for a multitude of programs until its final mission, launching the Mach-10 X-43A Hyper-X, on November 16, 2004. It was the oldest flying B-52 by nearly ten years.

The eBook edition is profusely illustrated with vintage photographs and diagrams and has more pictures than the print edition. It can be dowloaded directly from Lulu.com. It will soon be available from Apple iBookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

Balls Eight: History of the Boeing NB-52B Stratofortress Mothership

Balls Eight: History of the Boeing NB-52B Stratofortress Mothership
(eBook)

$10.99

Balls Eight: History of the Boeing NB-52B Stratofortress Mothership

Balls Eight: History of the Boeing NB-52B Stratofortress Mothership

Balls Eight: History of the Boeing NB-52B Stratofortress Mothership

It has been asserted that the Boeing NB-52B Stratofortress, carrying Air Force serial 52-0008, can lay claim to being the airplane that has seen and participated in more history than any other single airplane. For forty-five years, the NB-52B was a fixture at Edwards Air Force Base. While the NB-52B is most famous for launching the three North American X-15 rocket planes, it continued to serve in the role of launch platform for a multitude of programs until its final mission on November 16, 2004. It was the oldest flying B-52 by nearly ten years.
The NB-52B launched the three X-15 hypersonic rocket planes.
It launched the Northrop HL-10, Northrop M2-F2/F3, Martin Marietta X-24A and Martin Marietta X-24B lifting bodies.
It simulated the steep, power off approach to landing used by the Space Shuttles.
It assisted in the collection of data about wake turbulence from large aircraft.
It served as an air-to-air gunnery target.
It launched 3/8-scale F-15 Remotely Piloted Research Vehicles (RPRV) and Spin Research Vehicles (SRV).
It launched a Ryan Firebee II drone and the Ryan Firebee based Drones for Aeroelastic Structures Testing (DAST).
It launched the Highly Maneuverable Aircraft Technology (HiMAT) RPRVs.
It dropped the 48,000-pound Space Shuttle Reusable Booster Drop Test Vehicle (SRB/DTV).
It released a simulated F-111 crew module from its bomb bay to evaluate new parachute recovery systems.
It was the first airplane to launch a satellite into orbit on the Orbital Sciences Pegasus booster.
It tested the drag chute used to decelerate space shuttle orbiters.
It tested pollution reducing fuel additives with a pair of jet engines mounted under its bomb bay.
It launched the X-38 Space Station Crew Return Vehicles.
It launched the X-43A Hyper-X Supersonic Combustion Ramjets.

The book is 200 pages long. It contains 246 color photographs, 89 black and white photographs, and 2 other illustrations.

You can preview the first several pages of the book.

Books are printed on demand by Lulu.com. When you order one, it is placed in your Lulu.com shopping cart. Lulu.com prints, packages, and ships the book direct to you.

Softcover


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Hardcover


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Put a copy of the hardcover edition of Balls Eight: History of the Boeing NB-52B Stratofortress Mothership in your Lulu.com shopping cart for $79.95.


Painting Guide for the Boeing Stratofortress Motherships

Painting Guide for the Boeing Stratofortress Motherships

Painting Guide for the Boeing Stratofortress Motherships

Revell has re-released Monogram's 1/72-scale Boeing NB-52B Stratofortress with X-15A-2 kit. You need this book to help you establish the appropriate paint scheme for any particular NB-52B mission that you want to model.

The book is 96 pages long.

You can preview the first several pages of the book.

Books are printed on demand by Lulu.com. When you order one, it is placed in your Lulu.com shopping cart. Lulu.com prints, packages, and ships the book direct to you.


Buy Painting Guide for the Boeing Stratofortress Motherships on Lulu.
Put a copy of the softcover edition of Painting Guide for the Boeing Stratofortress Motherships in your Lulu.com shopping cart for $44.95.


Balls Eight: Boeing NB-52B Stratofortress Mothership

2018 calendar

You can buy a 2018 calendar featuring photographs of the Boeing NB-52B Stratofortress Mothership that launched the X-15s in the 1960s and continued launching research vehicles until 2004.

Lockett Books Calendar Catalog: Balls Eight: Boeing NB-52B Stratofortress Mothership

Lockett Books Calendar Catalog: Balls Eight: Boeing NB-52B Stratofortress Mothership

It has been asserted that the Boeing NB-52B Stratofortress, carrying Air Force serial 52-0008, can lay claim to being the airplane that has seen and participated in more history than any other single airplane. This calendar features a dozen pictures of the NB-52B carrying some of the research vehicles that it launched over the years. Photo sources: Air Force, NASA, Richard Lockett, Brian Lockett:

North American X-15-1, 1960
North American X-15-3, 1963
North American X-15A-2, 1967
Northrop HL-10, 1969
Martin-Mariettta X-24A, 1970
Northrop M2-F3, 1972
Martin-Mariettta X-24B, 1973
Orbital Sciences Pegasus, 1989
Supersonic Supercruise, 1995
X-38 V-131R, 2000
X-43A Hyper-X, 2004

Buy my Balls Eight: Boeing NB-52B Stratofortress Mothership 2018 calendar at Lulu! Put a copy of the Balls Eight: Boeing NB-52B Stratofortress Mothership: 2018 calendar in your Lulu.com shopping cart for $14.95.

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Books about Lifting Bodies, Edwards Air Force Base, and the X-15 available from

Flying Without Wings : Nasa Lifting Bodies and the Birth of the Space Shuttle by Milton O. Thompson Flying Without Wings : Nasa Lifting Bodies and the Birth of the Space Shuttle by Milton O. Thompson

Test Colors: The Aircraft of Muroc Army Airfield and Edwards Air Force Base by Rene Francillon Test Colors: The Aircraft of Muroc Army Airfield and Edwards Air Force Base by Rene Francillon

X-Planes at Edwards by Steve Pace X-Planes at Edwards (Enthusiast Color Series) by Steve Pace

Edwards Air Force Base : Open House at the USAF Flight Test Center 1957-1966 by Robert D. Archer Edwards Air Force Base : Open House at the USAF Flight Test Center 1957-1966 : A Photo Chronicle of Aircraft Displayed (Schiffer Military History) by Robert D. Archer

The X-Planes: X-1 to X-45: 3rd Edition by Jay Miller The X-Planes: X-1 to X-45: 3rd Edition by Jay Miller

Angle of Attack : Harrison Storms and the Race to the Moon by Mike Gray. The biography of Harrison Storms, who was instrumental in the development and operation of the X-15.

At the Edge of Space : The X-15 Flight Program by Milton O. Thompson. The story of test flying the X-15 from the point of view of the pilot.


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