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The fastest aircraft….

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  • Member since
    January 2018
  • From: Manchester, UK
The fastest aircraft….
Posted by DHanners55 on Saturday, June 1, 2024 3:33 AM

Here is my latest, a 1/32nd-scale cardmodel build of X-15A-2, 66671, as it looked on Flight 2-53-97 on 3 October 1967. Pete Knight set a world speed record of 4,520 mph, Mach 6.7. To reach the record speed, the airframe was covered with a pink ablative, and then the ablative was covered with a white sealant. (The ablative had a habit of exploding if something hit it after being exposed to liquid oxygen, so the sealant was added to prevent that.)

 

The build was pretty much an experiment. There is no card model available of the white 66671. The only card 1/32nd scale X-15A-2 available depicts the early black 'A-2. Normally, advanced cardmodelers would do a digital "repaint" of the model to change the colors or markings, but I only have an iPad and I lack any computer repainting skills. So how to model a white X-15A-2?

 

Simple. Build the model inside-out.

 

I printed out the model and just reversed the pieces as I built them. The project involved some scratchbuilding and accurizing to depict 66671 as it appeared on the speed-record flight. I had to scratchbuild the "eyelid" used to cover the left pane of the canopy. The shortened ventral and the dummy scramjet were scratchbuilt. On the record flight, the 66671's canopy had a revised leading edge, so I added that. I also added detail and accurized the XLR-99 motor and jettison tubes. (A lot of modelers depict the jettison tubes as silver, but by 2-53-97, the tubes had weathered to a metallic black color.) There were numerous other bits of added detail throughout, and the markings are correct for the speed-record flight. (Plastic modelers building the Special Hobby kit should be warned that SH got the markings wrong for Flight 2-53-97.)

 

When the sealant was added, technicians didn't worry about complete coverage of the lower wings and tailplanes since they were less likely to suffer an impact. In in-flight photos, you can clearly see pinkish areas through the streaky white paint. I added the light pinkish tint on the underside of the wings and tailplanes with pink chalk.

 

I will probably add some light weathering at some point. The white 66671 came out of the paint shop pristine, but by 2-53-97 it had already flown once (reaching Mach 4.94) and had been carried aloft on a captive flight, so there was some light wear of the white sealant around some of the panel lines. I also will probably add the external tanks the 66671 carried on its record flight.

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by JoeSMG on Saturday, June 1, 2024 8:24 AM

When I was a kid, X15s were right up there with dinosaurs for coolness.

 

Yours came out beautifully, and is definitely very, very cool. I never knew there was a white version. Now if I ever make one, I'll need two.

 

- Joe the SMG

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, June 2, 2024 12:25 AM

Very sharp looking build! That's made from paper card stock?

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    January 2018
  • From: Manchester, UK
Posted by DHanners55 on Sunday, June 2, 2024 12:47 AM

Yep. Cardstock. I used 160gsm white paper, which works out to 108-pound weight paper. 

  • Member since
    October 2004
  • From: Orlando, Florida
Posted by ikar01 on Sunday, June 2, 2024 2:15 PM

They had one on display at the 1964 World's Fair in New York City. I thought it was a cool looking aircraft until I saw the XB-70 Yalkyrie at Wright Patterson and the Sr-71 that sometimes would stop at our base once in a while during Vietnam and later were based at Kadena, Okinawa while I was stationed there.

They may not have been as fast as the X-15, but were very impressive mach 3 aircraft.  Or, if you read the patch of the SR pilots, mach 3+. 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, June 3, 2024 8:04 PM

Yeah wow that's sooooooooooo cool! 

Card models are so neat, I'm going to have to try one some day. 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    January 2018
  • From: Manchester, UK
Posted by DHanners55 on Thursday, June 6, 2024 4:13 PM

Gamera

Yeah wow that's sooooooooooo cool! 

Card models are so neat, I'm going to have to try one some day. 

 

 

Thanks! Cardmodeling is fun and certainly cheaper than styrene modeling. Many of the kits being designed and offered now have spectacular detail. There area wide range of challenges that make the hobby fun, but like plastic modeling, once you learn a few basic techniques, it's a pretty easy hobby.

 

Plus, nothing I work with smells....

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by JoeSMG on Thursday, June 6, 2024 5:54 PM

DHanners55

  ...

Plus, nothing I work with smells....

 

 
LOL

- Joe the SMG

fox
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Friday, June 7, 2024 10:10 AM

Very nice build! Still hard to believe that it's paper. Yes Yes Yes

Stay safe.

Jim Captain

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench: Artesania Latina  (aka) Artists in the Latrine 1/75 Bluenose II

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

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