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What color is YOUR X-15?

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burkefj

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I guess that depends on when you are modeling it...pre or post heat soaked flight...

Pilots Bob White and Bob Rushworth talked about reactions at the rollout.
” Bob Rushworth admitted he was initially shocked at the black color. “When I
first saw the x-15 the day before it rolled out, they were still hard at work. It
was just like any other airplane, aluminum-colored, silver, beautiful. Then
they opened the door and rolled it out and it was black! I thought, ‘What
the hell was that?’” The black paint was added as a way to control what is
called “emissivity,” or the control of the heat rate of the structure during
flight. Once the x-15 was soaked in high heat during flight, the Inconel itself
changed color to a deep blue-black, negating the need for paint.
 

rstaff3

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Thanks for the clarification. I had no basis for confirming or denying the article. Hope it helps.
 

fyrwrxz

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In a better, alternate universe, I 'd say "Let me go out to the hangar and look...."
 

dixontj93060

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I'm painting mine the black-blue using some translucents over black. Maybe not true to history, but it just looks much cooler!
 

burkefj

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Or you could go with the pink/salmon or white ablative scheme....no markings needed really......
 

Micromeister

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I've always liked the blue-Black matte color scheme.
All my X-15's are done with either blue-Black gloss or Matte depending on how long ago the models were built. Actually the Transluscent Blue tint is generally a single coat under the gloss or matte clear.
Truely; most cameras just can't pick-up the subtle blue tone but at least I know what was applied:)

109-sm_X-15 A2 Rocketplane 72nd PMC_08-12-91.jpg


169_X-15-PMC_65th_1994.jpg


252a2_MM X-15 130th PMC Slant_12-21-01.jpg


387p01a_MM X-15d 144th PMC_04-24-12.jpg


696_32nd X-15A-2 RightSide MatteClear Applied Complete_07-21-15.jpg


698_48th X-15A-2 Top MatteClear Applied_07-23-15.jpg
 
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georgegassaway

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Or you could go with the pink/salmon or white ablative scheme....no markings needed really......
Yeah, that was the original color of the ablative sprayed on to X-15 A2 when it was used for extremely high speed flights (using external drop tanks for extended motor duration). Ablative often described as the color of a pencil eraser.



But it never flew pink. It had white paint added, and "some" markings, but not much.






 

burkefj

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Yes, they had a closable eyelid on the left side of the cockpit because the burning ablative would coat the windows as it burned off, so they would use the right window for initial flight, then open the left shutter for landing as the other one was opaque. On their fastest run some of the ventral even burned off. The had a certain thickness they had to reach in different portions of the airframe and they had little tools to poke in and measure I think as they were applying the coating.

Frank
so, that ablative layer burnt off in flight?
 

NJRick

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these were awesome pictures! were those fuel tanks capable of being ejected? (sorry if that is a dumb question...)

Yeah, that was the original color of the ablative sprayed on to X-15 A2 when it was used for extremely high speed flights (using external drop tanks for extended motor duration). Ablative often described as the color of a pencil eraser.



But it never flew pink. It had white paint added, and "some" markings, but not much.






 

cls

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OK, pink x15 is one thing. Xb70 is another. Badass.
 

rstaff3

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Both were badass independent of their color.
 

georgegassaway

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these were awesome pictures! were those fuel tanks capable of being ejected? (sorry if that is a dumb question...)
Of course, otherwise the drag would never have let it get hypersonic.



X-15 A2 used the tanks for 55 seconds, then dropped the tanks and used internal fuel for another 90 seconds.

http://www.astronautix.com/x/x-15a-2.html

I have seen footage of the tanks being dropped. Tried to find video but no luck. But I did find this:

Wow, apparently they did a sort of "restoration" of X-15 A2, and added drop tanks to it, at the USAF Museum in Dayton. I do not recall it looking that good when I saw it there many many years ago, with no tanks. So this is not old footage, it is recent:

[video=youtube;_H2he0UUXW4]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_H2he0UUXW4[/video]



 
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NJRick

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thanks....I guess there is something about ejecting those big tanks next to this aircraft at those speeds and acceleration that is scary...but obviously they figured it out! The pictures you have posted are beautiful..such a neat aircraft (or should I say spacecraft?)

Of course, otherwise the drag would never have let it get hypersonic.



X-15 A2 used the tanks for 55 seconds, then dropped the tanks and used internal fuel for another 90 seconds.

http://www.astronautix.com/x/x-15a-2.html

I have seen footage of the tanks being dropped. Tried to find video but no luck. But I did find this:

Wow, apparently they did a sort of "restoration" of X-15 A2, and added drop tanks to it, at the USAF Museum in Dayton. I do not recall it looking that good when I saw it there many many years ago, with no tanks. So this is not old footage, it is recent:

[video=youtube;_H2he0UUXW4]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_H2he0UUXW4[/video]



 
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