Re: YF-220 and X-273 removed from Dan Javorsek resume



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Message posted by Peter Merlin (Member since 11/13/2003) on July 02, 2023 at 8:43:04 PST:

Speaking as someone who worked as a historian at the NASA Dryden/Armstrong Flight Research center for near two decades, I would like to point out that all of those research aircraft were joint NACA/NASA and DoD projects. The D-558-1 and D-558-2 were designed for the Navy in conjunction with the NACA. The lifting bodies were joint USAF/NASA development efforts. Not that it matters; civilian experimental aircraft also receive X-plane designations (X-57, X-59, etc.).

I'm not sure why the F-35 ended up with that designation. I just assumed it was laziness on someone's part (X-35 to F-35).

As for the RS-71/SR-71 myth, it can be put to bed once and for all. President Lyndon Johnson did not transpose the numbers from RS-71 to SR-71 during his speech. The Lockheed R-12 was at one time intended to be designated RS-71, as it was coming on the heels of the cancelled North American Aviation, Inc., RS-70. According to James T. Fulton who was part of an Air Force Systems Command task force that prepared a report on the configuration of the RS-70 weapons suite in 1962, SAC chief Gen. Curtis LeMay disliked the designator and tried to change it to SR-70. LeMay apparently succeeded in having Lockheedís design designated SR-71 prior to the presidentís July 24, 1964, announcement. In 2000, retired Col. Richard H. Graham, former commander of the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, contacted the LBJ Presidential Library to learn what Johnson had actually said. Archived copies of the original text of Johnsonís planned speech and audiotapes from the press conference confirmed that Johnson correctly used the term SR-71 three times and mentioned the abortive RS-70 once. However, in an official transcript of the speech, created from stenographic records and given to reporters afterward, the term SR-71 had been replaced with RS-71 in all three places. The stenographer, not the president, accidentally switched the letters.


In Reply to: Re: YF-220 and X-273 removed from Dan Javorsek resume posted by NotTelling on July 02, 2023 at 0:40:46 PST:

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