Science: Hot-Nosed Jet

In the cramped cockpit of the black, needle-nosed little aircraft shackled under the right wing of a B-52 jet bomber. Air Force Major Robert White threw a releasing switch, moments later pulled back on his throttle. By the time he returned to earth, Test Pilot White, at the controls of the U.S.'s experimental rocket plane X-15 over California's Mojave Desert, had flown faster than any human before him. His speed of 2,905 m.p.h. was nearly 4½ times the speed of sound and 630 m.p.h. faster than he had flown Feb. 9.

Moreover, White demonstrated...

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