Robert M. White, US Air Force. X-15 Pilot No. 3.

courtesy Edwards History Office

Iven C. Kincheloe was the first USAF X-15 pilot, but was killed in an F-104 crash.

courtesy author's collection

Kincheloe, Walker, and Crossfield in front of the X-15 engineering mockup.

courtesy author's collection

White checks his instruments after aborted flight: 1-A-18 on 11 Aug. 1960.

courtesy author's collection

White's return after last LR-11 flight: 1-21-36 on 7 Feb. 1961.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

White and Neil Armstrong at the tail of X-15 No. 2 with the LR-99 rocket engine.

courtesy author's collection

White prepares for first manned flight to Mach 4: 2-13-26 on 7 Mar. 1961.

courtesy Defense Audio Visual Agency

Closer shot of White preparing for first Mach 4 flight: 2-13-26 on 7 Mar. 1961.

courtesy Defense Audio Visual Agency

White's shattered windshield coming back from 217,000 feet: 2-20-36 on 11 Oct. 1961.

courtesy NASA Headquarters

Post-flight activities on X-15 No. 2.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

(L-R) Launch Panel Operator Bill Berkowitz with B-52 mothership pilots Capt. John E. "Jack" Allavie and Capt. Charles C. Bock, Jr.

courtesy author's collection

Close-up on lower ventarl. Note the parachute markings to designate that it has been reflown successfully ten times prior to this flight.

courtesy author's collection

Preparation for launch of X-15 no. 2 with a T-38 chase plane close by.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

White preparing for drop on first Mach 6 flight: 2-21-37 on 9 Nov. 1961.

courtesy North American Aviation

Moments after release from B-52 No. 008: 2-21-37 on 9 Nov. 1961.

courtesy North American Aviation

Aiming for a martini touchdown.

courtesy author's collection

JFK presents the Harmon Trophy to Crossfield, Walker, and White: 28 Nov. 1961.

courtesy Cathie Godwin collection

The "Small Boy" atomic bomb test in Nevada delayed White's flight: 14 Jul. 1962.

courtesy author's collection

X-15 No. 3 prior to mating for first astronaut qualification: 3-7-14 on 17 Jul. 1962.

courtesy Defense Audio Visual Agency

B-52 flyover after White's record altitude flight of 314,750 feet: 3-7-14 on 17 Jul. 1962.

courtesy Tony Landis collection

White is greeted on the lakebed by Charles Yeager and General Branch.

courtesy Edwards History Office

White greeted by his wife and children.

courtesy author's collection

White is helped into the X-15 cockpit.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

President Kennedy presents the Collier Trophy to the X-15 pilot team: 18 Jul. 1962.

courtesy NASA Headquarters

Nestled under the B-52 wing pylon, White prepares for closure of the cockpit canopy.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center