A unique Haynes Manual, providing fascinating technical insight into the development and use of rocket planes, focusing on the iconic X-15, which carried out much of the development work for the Apollo and Space Shuttle space programmes. As of July 2015, the X-15 still holds the world record for the highest speed ever attained by a manned aircraft, at 4,520mph (Mach 6.72)! The X-15 was flown by a band of elite test pilots, including the first man to walk on the Moon, Neil Armstrong. The X-15 made 199 flights between 1959 and 1968, several of which were above the line considered to be the arbitrary altitude where space begins. The engaging text, extensively illustrated with period photographs and technical illustrations, explains how the vehicle worked, what it pioneered for future applications in more conventional aircraft and manned spacecraft developed by NASA from 1958, and what it was like to fly.
Dr. David Baker worked with NASA on the Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle programmes between 1965 and 1990. He has written more than 100 books on space flight, aviation and military technology. In October 2017 he received the American Astronautical Society's Frederick I. Ordway III award "for a sustained excellence in space coverage, through books, articles, as well as engagement in the early US space program." Dr. Baker is the author of the Haynes NASA Space Shuttle Manual, International Space Station Manual, NASA Mars Rovers Manual, Apollo 13 Manual, Soyuz Manual, Rocket Manual and Hubble Space Telescope Manual. David is currently the Editor of Spaceflight, the monthly space news magazine of the British Interplanetary Society, of which he is a Fellow, and he lives in East Sussex.