Aviation: The Fall of the Valkyrie

From the first of the 95 flights made by the Air Force's two XB-70 Valkyrie bombers since 1964, the mighty, 2,000-m.p.h. experimental craft has been gremlin plagued. On Valkyrie 1's maiden flight, a runaway engine had to be shut down and four tires blew out. Two months ago, Valkyrie 2 was saved when its copilot used a paper clip to short-circuit a crazed computer and free its locked-in landing gear (TIME, May 13).

Last week Valkyrie 2's luck ran out. The cobra-cowled bird lunged into a cloud-flecked morning sky from California's Edwards Air...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!