Stock Picture of a M2-F1 In Tow Flight #7482

#7482 Stock Picture of a M2-F1 In Tow Flight by JVPD
Stock photo of a M2-F1 lifting body under tow at the Flight Research Center (later redesignated the Dryden Flight Research Center), Edwards, California, January 1st 1964. The wingless, lifting body aircraft design was initially conceived as a means of landing an aircraft horizontally after atmospheric reentry. The absence of wings would make the extreme heat of re-entry less damaging to the vehicle. In 1962, Dryden management approved a program to build a lightweight, unpowered lifting body as a prototype to flight test the wingless concept. It would look like a "flying bathtub," and was designated the M2-F1, the "M" referring to "manned" and "F" referring to "flight" version. It featured a plywood shell placed over a tubular steel frame crafted at Dryden. Construction was completed in 1963. The first flight tests of the M2-F1 were over Rogers Dry Lake at the end of a tow rope attached to a hopped-up Pontiac convertible driven at speeds up to about 120 mph. These initial tests produced enough flight data about the M2-F1 to proceed with flights behind a NASA C-47 tow plane at greater altitudes. The C-47 took the craft to an altitude of 12,000 feet where free flights back to Rogers Dry Lake began.

Photo Credit: NASA [0003-0703-1500-0432] by 0003

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