Tailhook Photos

  • www.flickr.com
    To submit your photos, videos and suggestions for "The Daily Briefing" please send us an e-mail at [email protected].

The Navy Blogosphere

Subscribe to "The Daily Briefing" using...

  • Subscribe in NewsGator Online

    Add to Google

    Add to My AOL

« Docu-Drama A Day in the Life of CVN CO, Mike Manazir | Main | 234 Years Ago »

September 26, 2009



The serial numbers of the two B-52H's were: 60-0036 and 61-0021.


There is one other possibility.
Two B-52H’s were modified in 1966-71 to launch the Lockheed mach 3+ D-21 drone. The D-21’s were used in unsuccessful reconnaissance missions over mainland China. The silhouette of the D-21 drone could look like the X-15 to those not familiar with either program. I do not have the serial numbers of which two B-52H's were used in this program.

Steeljaw Scribe

Well - sorry for the late response, chalk it up to an incompetent internet service provider (oh the joys of a government-blessed monopoly...)
A complete rundown on the mission markings on "Double Balls 8" (NB-52 mothership) may be found here:
See especially the close-up of the SRB/DTV mission marker (narrative added in red text)

Ken Schoeni

"From my research only two B-52's carried the X-15.
The first was a NB-52A (AF/NASA #52-0003 "The High and the Mighty One") which was retired in 1968. She is on display at the Pima Air Museum near Tucson, AZ. Markings on this aircraft are a near vertical X-15 for powered and straight X-15 for glided flights.
The other was a NB-52B (AF/NASA #52-0008 "Balls 8") which was retired in Dec. 2004. This aircraft carried the vast majority of the X-15 flights. She is in storage at Edwards AFB, CA to be part of a museum at the base.
A B-52H was loaned to NASA but was returned the Air Force due to the lack of test projects needing a mother-ship launch.
A B-52 will be used for the X-51 project which will start in late 2009."

Thanks, Ken
Mile High Tailhooker det. Puget Sound

joe wilson

The nose up symbol was for a flight that came off the B-52 hooks and was successful.

The nose down symbol was for a flight that came off the B-52 hooks and was not successful. The X-15 would have to land at the launch dry lake or one of the intermediate dry lakes on the way to Edwards Air Force base.

The level symbol was for a flight that did not come off of the B-52 hooks (system problems etc.) and returned to base on the B-52.

Parrothead Jeff

I'm not sure, but I'm willing to take a guess. It could be that the nose up symbol was for a high altitude flight, the nose straight for a speed run, and the nose down for an emergency landing like the one at Delamar Dry Lake in Nevada.

The comments to this entry are closed.