William H. Dana, National Aeronautics & Space Administration. X-15 Pilot No. 11.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Dana in the "Iron Bird" X-15 simulator two days prior to flight: 3-54-80 on 19 Aug. 1966.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

X-15 No. 1 in the NASA hangar for maintenance. X-15s 2 & 3 can also be seen.

courtesy NASA Headquarters

Another view of the three X-15s under maintenance in the NASA hangar.

courtesy TD Barnes collection

Dana with a bandaged nose the day prior to his first flight: 1-62-103 on 4 Nov. 1965.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

The H-21 is a ghostly image in the desert behind the X-15 as it skids to a stop.

courtesy author's collection

X-15 touches down. Note the deflected tail surfaces which help keep it on the lakebed.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

H-21 helicopter brings in the ground crew to aid the pilot after landing.

courtesy Edwards History Office

X-15 No. 1 is ready for Dana's flight 3-63-94. The B-52/X-15A2 taxi in the distance.

courtesy North American Aviation

Experiment pods attached to the wing-tips of X-15 No. 1.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Wing-tip pods tested on an X-15 wind tunnel model.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

X-15 operations required hydrogen peroxide, a dangerous substance to handle.

courtesy North American Aviation

A bow-tied technician with a mobile testing unit rolled up beside the X-15.

courtesy North American Aviation

Forward ballistic control system rockets installed in the nose of the X-15.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Posing with X-15 No. 3 after landing: 3-60-90 on 22 Jun. 1967.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Left-hand wingtip pod with cap open and experiment mount extended.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Solar spectrum experiment carried in the rear of the wing-tip pod.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

The Western Test Range experiment pops out behind the cockpit to track a missile.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

A humorist envisions all the experiments carried aboard the X-15.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

A technician works one of the array of consoles used during an X-15 research mission.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

The X-15 carried numerous experiments which were deployed while in space. Shown here is the Western Test Range instrument behind the cockpit, and a tip pod experiment.

computer art courtesy Thommy Eriksson

Rear bug-eye camera views. The cameras are mounted directly behind the cockpit. A chase plane contrail can be seen in left photo, and curvature of the Earth in the right.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

On a flight to 306,900 feet, Dana knocked his checklist pages loose into the X-15 cabin during the zero-g ballistic arc: 3-56-83 on 1 Nov. 1966.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Dana converses with Armstrong. The M2-F3 lifting body is behind them.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Thompson, Dana, and McKay with the advanced X-15A-2.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

X-15 No. 1 is serviced after Dana's 12th flight: 1-74-130 on 1 Mar. 1968.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Detail of the lower ventral speed brake mechanism.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Dana on the runway centerline following a flight: 1-75-133 on 4 Apr. 1968.

courtesy author's collection

A Bill Dana bobblehead from the Lancaster Jethawks.

courtesy author's collection

John Manke, almost the X-15's 13th pilot.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

The B-52 mothership salutes Dana following a flight in the HL-10: 25 Apr. 1969.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Dana with the needle-nosed X-24B lifting body: 23 Sep. 1975.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center