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  Neil Armstrong wearing a medal in 1964

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Author Topic:   Neil Armstrong wearing a medal in 1964
Philip
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Posts: 5846
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 01-26-2019 10:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A series of photos, taken in February 1964, showing Neil Armstrong with test pilot Fred Drinkwater standing next to the Ames Bell X-14 test aircraft, clearly show Neil wore some kind of medal on the zipper above his left knee... Anyone know exactly what this was?

More photos from the series can be seen here.

MarylandSpace
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Posts: 1318
From:
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 01-26-2019 03:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Could it just be a "zipper pull"?

Philip
Member

Posts: 5846
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 01-27-2019 03:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That large? It was larger than the wristwatch he was wearing!

TLIGuy
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Posts: 191
From: Virginia
Registered: Jul 2013

posted 01-27-2019 06:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TLIGuy   Click Here to Email TLIGuy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Enlarging the original image it appears to be the equivalent of a modern day challenge or command coin. It appears the attachment point was crudely attached and is misshapen.

There is clearly an aircraft planform with text around the circumference of the medallion and if I had to guess looking at the sharp nose, intakes (?), and small wings my guess would be an X-15 (Armstrong flights '60-'62) or F-104.

Armstrong's good luck charm?

NAAmodel#240
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Posts: 293
From: Boston, Mass.
Registered: Jun 2005

posted 03-26-2019 06:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NAAmodel#240   Click Here to Email NAAmodel#240     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The "challenge coin" has a swept wing aircraft on it. Armstrong had climbed into the X-24B. He checked out the cockpit but never flew the plane.

David C
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Posts: 945
From: Lausanne
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 03-26-2019 11:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is not the X-24B, it's the X-14, which he did fly. To my eyes the "swept wing aircraft" looks like the X-3 or an F-104. Nose seems too long for the X-15.

albatron
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Posts: 2649
From: Stuart, Florida
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 03-27-2019 02:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron   Click Here to Email albatron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The "coin" on his zipper appears to show the D558-II.

David C
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Posts: 945
From: Lausanne
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 03-27-2019 03:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not convinced Al, seems to have pronounced fuselage intakes. Not convinced the wing and horizontal stabilizer are even swept, could well be trapezoidal. I'm sticking with the F-104 as most likely.

oly
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Posts: 716
From: Perth, Western Australia
Registered: Apr 2015

posted 03-27-2019 06:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looking at the image using post processing software to sharpen and increase contrast, the aircraft on the coin has swept back wings and tail, similar to the D-558-2 design, however it also has intakes on the fuselage sides, indicating a design with jet engines versus rockets.

The wings are set too far forward to resemble a F-104, but the intakes are similar.

Is it possible that the coin has some generic aircraft design of the times?

TLIGuy
Member

Posts: 191
From: Virginia
Registered: Jul 2013

posted 03-27-2019 06:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for TLIGuy   Click Here to Email TLIGuy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looking at the original image enlarged again I'm more convinced one of my original thoughts of the planform seen on the medal/coin is the F-104. I clearly see the leading edge of the wings slightly aft of what appears to be intakes on the fuselage. Also, the larger image appears to have a horizontal stabilizer proportionally correct to the wings of an F-104.

David C
Member

Posts: 945
From: Lausanne
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 03-27-2019 09:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe it will come up in this May's Armstrong auction and surprise us all.

All times are CT (US)

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