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M2-F1 in Tow | by NASA on The Commons
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M2-F1 in Tow

On August 16, 1963, Milt Thompson piloted the M2-F1's first air-tow flight. Although the photo above shows a different flight, it provides context for the concept.

 

The M2-F1 lifting body is seen here being towed behind a C-47 at the Flight Research Center (now the Armstrong Flight Research Center), Edwards, California. The wingless, lifting body aircraft design was initially conceived as a means of landing an aircraft horizontally after atmospheric re-entry. The absence of wings would make the extreme heat of re-entry less damaging to the vehicle. The first C-47 towed flight was on August 16, 1963.

 

Image # : E-10962

Date: February 28, 1964

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Taken on February 28, 1964