Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Stamps & Covers
  Space Cover 122: X-2 Flown Cover

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Space Cover 122: X-2 Flown Cover
micropooz
Member

Posts: 1239
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 08-14-2011 06:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space Cover of the Week, Week 122 (August 14, 2011)
Space Cover #122: The X-2 Rocketplane

Well, some clown named micropooz started this on SCOTW #111 with a flown cover from the Douglas D-558-II Skyrocket in 1951. Then stevedd841 upped the ante on SCOTW #118 with an X-15 flown cover from 1967! Well, it's hard to surpass Steve, so...

...instead, let's fill in the gap between the Skyrocket and the X-15.

The Bell X-2 rocketplane incorporated swept wings (as did the Skyrocket) but used an engine with 2 to 3 times the thrust of the Skyrocket. Once the teething problems of the bigger engine got solved, the X-2 rapidly started setting speed records in the mid-1950's.

On July 23, 1956 the X-2, in the hands of pilot Frank K. "Pete" Everest, set a record speed of 1900 mph — 2.87 times the speed of sound (Mach 2.87 — and see above)! Everest carried an unknown number of covers on this flight (as he had on previous flights), in the pocket of his pressure suit. He mailed all of the covers carried on this July 23 flight on July 24, hence the day-after postmark from Edwards, CA.

This is an example of Ellington-Zwisler #81, each of which were postmarked at Edwards on July 24, and each example has a different cachet dependent upon the addressee who mailed their blank cover to be carried by Everest. I've held three or four of these in my hands, and have seen several more offered for sale, and each is a little different.

After this flight, pilot Ivan Kincheloe took the X-2 to a record 126,000 ft altitude (24 miles). Then on September 27, 1956, pilot Mil Apt exceeded Mach 3 in the X-2. Unfortunately the X-2 went into an irrecoverable spin at that point, killing both Apt and the X-2 program.

After that, it was up to the X-15 to push the way into higher/faster winged flight, and to pave the way to a future Space Shuttle.

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2012 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement