Two men Tony Moore and Peter Merlin, had a long fascination with spacecraft and airplanes; this was to eventually develop, after they were both interested in the XB-70, known to have crashed near Barstow, California in 1966 (not known to each other properly).They both came together to research X-70 planes at the Edwards AFB History Office, and ultimately found the area and then the exact spot where the plane crashed…. they soon began to research other x-planes, and this began a whole run of finding experimental x-plane sites from 1940-1970, and finding debris from these planes.
They would spend alot of time on research, before even attempting to go into the field to discover the crash sites. Soon however, they found themselves involved with the Air Force Flight Test Centre Museum at Edwards.
“We donated artifacts and documentation about the crash sites to Doug Nelson, the curator. In time we earned his respect for our thoroughness and professionalism. We began to think we should give ourselves a more professional sounding name and, thus, the Aerospace Archeology Field Research Team was born.
In 1994 a freelance writer named Lance Thompson heard about our exploits through mutual friends and thought it would make a good story. After meeting Lance, we invited him to join us on our search for the X-1A crash site. He wrote a wonderful article and offered it to Aircraft Illustrated, Air Classics, and AIR&SPACE/Smithsonian magazines” (extract from article).
“The Research Airplane Program was a joint effort by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA, the predecessor of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and the military services. It was conceived near the end of Word War II to perform flight research with a series of specialized aircraft in the then-unexplored realms of transonic and supersonic flight.
Two general categories of aircraft were obtained for the project. They included those needed to explore new areas of performance and those required to investigate the effects of different airplane configurations. The project resulted in notable increases in knowledge about the dynamics of piloted flight in winged aircraft at speeds up to 4,500 miles per hour and at altitudes exceeding 350,000 feet.
The outstanding contributions of the Research Airplane Program, and subsequent flight research projects, include providing important information on previously unexplored aircraft characteristics; validating transonic and supersonic wind-tunnel test data and analytical techniques; and providing confidence in the achievement of safe, controllable, transonic/supersonic flight.
The first aircraft in the series was specifically designed to explore the transonic region and breach the so-called “sound barrier.” It was originally designated XS-1 to denote that it would be the first experimental sonic airplane. Later, the designation was shortened to X-1. Many research vehicles have since provided important data to scientists and aircraft designers. They have come to be known collectively as: The X-Planes” (extract from site).
Why has it been added to a UFO site, i hear you cry? well i think it is interesting to see what the Air Force were up to in its earlier days, and that its being dug up again.
Ok i admit it; i just found this a fascinating article (sorry will not do it again – lol).
To see the site please go to http://www.thexhunters.com/ .