What color is YOUR X-15?

burkefj

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
3,966
Reaction score
1,912
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

Oddroc-eteer
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
11,763
Reaction score
27
Thanks for the clarification. I had no basis for confirming or denying the article. Hope it helps.
 

fyrwrxz

latest photo
Joined
Jun 6, 2011
Messages
7,263
Reaction score
716
In a better, alternate universe, I 'd say "Let me go out to the hangar and look...."
 

dixontj93060

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
13,083
Reaction score
32
I'm painting mine the black-blue using some translucents over black. Maybe not true to history, but it just looks much cooler!
 

Micromeister

Micro Craftman/ClusterNut
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
15,074
Reaction score
66
Location
Washington DC
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
 
Last edited:

MaxQ

Tripoli 2747
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,461
Reaction score
87
Location
Central Viginia - USA
2007-12576h.jpg
 
Last edited:

georgegassaway

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
5,044
Reaction score
1,127
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.

v9rtcv3xj7oxdb4szlcv.jpg


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

EC67-1794.jpg



Sr533t1.jpg


x15cha8l.jpeg
 

burkefj

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
3,966
Reaction score
1,912
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

Saturn 1b nut
TRF Supporter
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
2,813
Reaction score
22
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.

v9rtcv3xj7oxdb4szlcv.jpg


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

EC67-1794.jpg



Sr533t1.jpg


x15cha8l.jpeg
 

cls

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2009
Messages
2,526
Reaction score
229
OK, pink x15 is one thing. Xb70 is another. Badass.
 

georgegassaway

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
5,044
Reaction score
1,127
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.

x15a2.jpg


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

https://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]

151002-F-IO108-003.JPG


151002-F-IO108-011.JPG
 
Last edited:

NJRick

Saturn 1b nut
TRF Supporter
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
2,813
Reaction score
22
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.

x15a2.jpg


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

https://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]

151002-F-IO108-003.JPG


151002-F-IO108-011.JPG
 
Top