Aircraft: Two of a Special Kind

While most attention has focused on preparations for the manned Apollo flight, last week NASA quietly proceeded with two other pioneering programs —the record-breaking test series of the X-15 and the XB-70, respectively the fastest and the heaviest supersonic aircraft in the world. Ironically, both planes were built by North American Aviation, Inc., the company that has borne much of the blame for the January spacecraft holocaust.

The X-15, which has been probing manned, rocket-powered flight and studying the solar spectrum at the edge of the earth's atmosphere (354,200 ft.), recently set a new speed record of 4,260 m.p.h., or...

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