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