Strategic bomber XB-70 Valkyrie

Over 100 years of aviation was created many unusual aircraft. Typically, these machines are distinguished avant-garde design solutions and not mass-produced. Their fates were colorful but short-lived. Some of them have had a perceptible impact on the future development of aviation, others forgotten. But they have always caused excessive enthusiasm both among professionals and the public. Our magazine also decided to pay tribute to aviaekzotike.

Strategic bomber XB-70 "Valkyrie"

History of Creation

At the end of 1951, adopted the Strategic Air Command of the U.S. Air Force received the first strategic bomber with TRD "Boeing" B-47. As a middle-bomber (the greatest mass bomb load of about 10 tons). he could not bear to own the entire range of bomb bays of the U.S. nuclear arsenal since this Makar, a jet-47 was only just a great big addition to the piston B-36. Because the Air Force initiated the development of languid B-52 bombers. First modification of the aircraft in comparison with B-47 had twice the takeoff weight. radius of about 5,500 km actions and, most importantly, could carry a hydrogen bomb Mk 17, weighing 21 tons capacity of 20 Mt.

But the prospect of in the not to distant future, anti-aircraft missiles and supersonic interceptor has called swing the possibility languid subsonic bombers reach designated targets deep areas of the USSR. With this in mind, in 1954 the U.S. Air Force issued a firm "Conver" order to build a supersonic bomber B-58. Operating from European bases, they were the first to invade the Soviet air space and strike at the main objects of air defense, opening the way for the languid-52. But the Strategic Air Command had never shown any particular interest in respect of the B-58, priemuschestvenno as the plane had a small range (without refueling only about 1,500 km) and carried a bomb load of insignificance, and of frequent tragedy thoroughly Changeling his reputation. Back in late 1954 the Strategic Air Command U.S. Air Force General Le May. acquainted with the calculated values of B-58, appealed to the Ministry of Defence to see the question of the other bombers that could change in the future B-52 — from the range without refueling over 11,000 km and the "most probable velocity." This aircraft, long operation which could be applicable existing airfields and surface equipment had to be made up in the Air Force from 1965 to 1975.

By order of Le May's U.S. Air Force released a document GOR № 38 "General requirements for manned tactical bombers intercontinental bomber weapon systems." After a while there was follow-up document, in which the project was given the designation WS-110A — "The system implements 110A." Implementation of such scheme of combat aircraft was approaching the target at a very high altitude at a rate corresponding to the number M = 2, and with an increase to its respective Mach 3 over enemy territory. Running on the target class guided missile "air-to-ground" with a nuclear warhead, a bomber had to retire with the greatest possible speed. According to the proposal published in Raytovskom research center to study ways of implementing these requirements, the Chief of Staff U.S. Air Force gave the order to begin the development of the project WS-110A, on a competitive basis. The main condition for achieving victory there were very likely altitude and airspeed. Deliveries of production aircraft was scheduled to start in 1963

6 companies submitted to the Air Force proposals in October 1955 in the next month to two finalists, "Boeing" and "North American" gave orders for the detailed design of research bombers. It should be recalled that at the time efficiency of turbojet engines left much to be desired many the best, and the flight of the huge range supersonic cruise speed of supplies sought immense fuel. Both projects anticipate the creation of tremendous jets.

Thus, the project office "North American" foresaw the development of a bomber with a takeoff weight of 340 tons with a tapered wing, which is attached to the back of the console huge sweep with fuel tanks in the center. The latter had the same dimensions as the fuselage B-47, and housed at 86 tons of fuel, providing intercontinental range at high subsonic flight. After overcoming most of the way console along with the tanks were dropped, and the aircraft accelerated to M = 2.3 for the throw to the goal and care. About the project, General Le May sarcastically saw: "It's not a plane, and the flight of 3 aircraft." In addition, the operation of such aircraft with existing airfields and the use of existing ground equipment is not out of the question. Both presented the project have been rejected in the short program from WS-110A only limited research works very ability of creation such machines.

After 18 months of "Boeing" and "North American" presented new proposals on WS-110A. Independently of each other, they concluded that by using the high-energy synthetic fuel. You can reach supersonic cruising speed without resorting to exotic aerodynamic assemblies. In addition, thanks to the achievements of aerodynamics, it was perhaps a significant increase in the aerodynamic properties of the languid aircraft, which reduced the amount of fuel required for the merit of intercontinental range. In aerodynamics particularly excelled company "North American", which decided to use in your own project growth principle of lift "compression", developed by NASA. She has conducted research in the wind tunnel to determine whether the actual creation of the aircraft, which increases aerodynamic efficiency due to additional lift force generated by shock waves. The results have eclipsed all expectations — it turned out that on the basis of this principle, it is very similar to the effect of high-speed planing boats aqua surface, you can make a plane corresponding requirements of the Air Force, even regardless of the type of fuel used.

In the late summer of 1957 the U.S. Air Force, becoming interested in these fruits, extended the program from research project on condition that the company presented projects with a description of the major systems. After their evaluation of the representatives of the Air Force in December 1957, preference was given to the design of the airplane, "Valkyrie" B-70 (Valkyrie militant virgin goddess in Norse mythology) of "North American", which entered into a contract for the construction of 62 aircraft — 12 experienced and pre-production and 50 series. Along with "General Electric" signed an agreement on the establishment of engine J93. able to work as an ordinary and a synthetic fuel. All the programm was estimated at 3.3 billion. bucks.

Strategic bomber XB-70 "Valkyrie"
When blowing XB-70 model in the wind tunnel are clearly visible shocks
Strategic bomber XB-70 "Valkyrie"
Ground tests of rescue capsule
Installing the motor YJ93-GE-3

Part necessary for the implementation of the research project was to be held within the framework of the creation of programs from distant interceptor "North American» F-108 "Rapier" with the same engines J93, which could reach speeds of up to 3200 km / h and arm 3-guided missiles with nuclear warheads. Project radius acts F-108 was superior to 1,600 km, and ferry range 4000 km. "Rapier" had to accompany the B-70 and the cover of Russian strategic bombers objects that are similar to "Valkyrie", the occurrence of which is not in service with the Soviet Union led to a lengthy case of success and expect the B-70.

U.S. Air Force insisted on accelerating the development of the B-70 with that. so that the first flight took him in 1961, and the first wing of 12 aircraft to intercede on combat duty in August 1964 the first step applets — development, construction and approval of the layout of the aircraft — completed in April 1959 by the results of the inspection of spices Air Force was asked to make a change in the project 761 and 35 configurations in the layout. Since programm development of B-70 was among the priorities, all comments are eliminated rapidly.

But it did not last long. The first problem in the applets has been associated with high-calorific fuel for engines J93, as referred borohydride fuel. Its implementation will, of course, provides a huge energy value compared with kerosene, but with all this in the exhaust gas engines contain many toxins, which has forced all ground personnel to work in the chemical state of permanent war. In addition, the price of fuel borohydride was very highest, and on settlements, burning it to the afterburner engines J93 range "Valkyrie" only increased by only 10%. Such increase was considered missing to justify the costs of the development and creation of the new fuel. Even despite the fact that the company "Olin Mathieson" almost finished construction of a plant for its release, the program ended. The plant cost 45 million bucks never earned.

A month later and finished the program from the development of the interceptor F-108, citing the fact that its engines had to work for borohydride fuel. But the prerequisite for ending the development of this F-108 was the lack of funds — large-scale development of intercontinental ballistic missiles sought more funds, resulting in the need to revise the financing of projects of manned aircraft. But along with the F-108 was similar in purpose to develop the fighter "Lockheed" A-12 (F-12A), then turned into a big-name SR-71. By the way, "Lockheed" has previously refused borohydride fuel by the end of 1959 was graduated from the development of its own interceptor. The funds released as a result of closure of programs from F-108, gave the command "Kelly" Johnson for the construction of the A-12.

By October 1959, the creation of the B-70 has already spent over 315 million dollars. Because part of the research work related to flight at a speed of M-3, was carried out within the framework of the creation of the F-108, the price of the necessary work on the B-70 program there after those events has increased by 150 million dollars. Despite this, in December 1959 is made for "Valkyrie" on the 1961 money year decreased from 365 to 75 million dollars. New plans to anticipate the construction of only the 1st instance of the XB-70, and that no sighting and navigation and other combat systems. First flight was scheduled for 1962, and the example program of flight tests was prolonged until 1966

But in the summer of 1960 in Moscow, in the air parade in Tushino, was demonstrated supersonic bomber M-50 design bureau Myashishev development. The severe battle of the machine shocked attended the parade foreign military delegations. Not knowing his real hell, the Americans immediately resume funding the development of "Valkyrie" in the same volume. But in April 1961 the new U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. a big supporter of missile coolly reduced it to build 3-experienced bombers. The first two, only research, had a crew of two people and the designation XB-70A, the third plane, the layout of the bombers with the designation XB-70B, a crew of four people (two pilots, electronic warfare systems operator and navigator). Now, "Valkyrie" bailed out just what it can be used as a carrier rockets GAM-87A (WS-138A) «Skaybolt" with a range of up to 1,600 km, the company that developed the "Douglas". B-70 could patrol the outside of the borders of a potential enemy, and in the event of conflict produce hypersonic missiles with powerful warheads. But all 5 treatment starts from the board of B-52 were bad. Seeing that debugging requires large rocket cost, and of the fate of its support B-70 is very vague, the U.S. President has finished its development.

First XB-70A in the assembly shop
For planting crew in the cockpit XB-70A was used a special lift

In January 1962, in response to yet another danger closing programm "Valkyrie" again is changed, and the aircraft was designated the RS-70 — a strategic reconnaissance bomber in March 1964 reduced the example program again, by deciding to conduct flight tests only 2-experienced HV 70A-And this despite the fact that the U.S. Air Force is constantly sought all possible means and impracticable to return to the 70-to life as a combat aircraft, saying that it could be used as a supersonic ton. saved the seed stage combat gallakticheskih devices, such as a "dinosaur", and a platform for the launch of ballistic missiles. Even suggested that he would be able to do the functions gallakticheskogo interceptor.

But all efforts to preserve the "Valkyrie" have been in vain. Defense Minister believed that the best results can be achieved by other means. Even the significance of the experience gained in the creation of the B-70, for the development of a supersonic civilian aircraft, from the standpoint of McNamara, was not significant, even though he personally led a special committee for this dilemma. Note: B-70 configuration, mass and constructive implementation is fully consistent with the views so far on the supersonic transport aircraft. Its cruising altitude is 21 km. and speed reached M = 3. At the same time, it must load of only 5% (12.5 m) from the gross mass (250 m), was apparently not sufficient for a commercial aircraft. With all of this range, "Valkyrie" is 11000 km, while most of the transatlantic routes have a length of about 9000 km. When optimizing the aircraft for these routes and reducing the supplies of fuel load could be to increment up to 20 tonnes, which would allow to achieve the desired level of profitability of a civilian airliner.

Naturally, all these faults with funding and ongoing debate in Congress did not promise anything decent plane, but the "North American" stubbornly continued to build the first ace standard "Valkyrie." As they say. Vaska listen, but eats.

Technical features

One reason is so wary of the case for the B-70 was his v
ery large unusual for long, you can say, revolutionary. Accordingly, the technical risk in the development of "Valkyrie" was very great. Among the important features are, first, should include an aero chart "duck", tpeugolnoe trapezoidal wing and horizontal tail frontal. Due to huge shoulder PGO it perfectly used to balance the aircraft, particularly at supersonic speeds, which has freed up elevons for pitch control and tilt. When landing the largest angle differences of CHR was 6?, And its tail section further down could deviate by 25 ° and served as landing flaps. Dismissing them, the pilot increased the pitch angle, balancing plane with all this dedication steering forward, ie elevons deflected downward and further increasing the total lifting force. At the same time, the CHR has become a source of instability of the longitudinal and Putney aircraft at huge angles of attack, the sloping flow from it has a detrimental effect on the load-bearing characteristics of the wing and aggravated vozduhopoglotiteley work. But the "North American" said that she had spent painstaking tests B-70 models in wind tunnels duration 14,000 hours and solved all problems.

An important feature of the aerodynamic aircraft assembly has become such a useful introduction, in principle, the harmful phenomenon of shock waves generated by supersonic flight "Valkyrie" has been designed makarom that occurs behind the system jumps too high a static pressure effect on the lower surface of the fuselage and the wing and create additional lift. This allows you to make cruising with the lowest angle of attack and, as it should, with little resistance. In wind tunnel tests and calculations have shown that in flight at speeds respectively M = 3, at the height of 21,000 m due to shocks can be increased lifting force by 30% without increasing the resistance. In addition, it allows to reduce the size of the wing and, as it should reduce the weight of the aircraft structure

The source said "useful" of the jumps was a front wedge vozduhopoglotitelya "Valkyrie." Intake itself was divided into two channels with a rectangular cross section having a height of 2.1 m in front and a length of about 24 m and a wedge housed three moving panels connected among themselves. The position of panels ought to be regulated independently of the air flow. These holes were made to remove the boundary layer, provide a uniform inlet flow to any of the sliders 3. On the upper surface of the wing housed the main and auxiliary leaf bleed, allows a certain degree of control the flow in vozduhopoglotitele. The calculations necessary for the proper operation of vozduhopoglotitelya different criteria in flight, performed by a complex system of sensors and analog calculators.

Holiday roll-out of the first instance of XB-70A
XB-70A refueling fuel
Rise of the first instance of XB-70A

Jumps occurring on the front glazing canopy pilots at ordinary nose of the aircraft configuration. unacceptably increasing drag during flight with bolshennymi speeds. To avoid them, the angles of inclination of the nasal surfaces of the plane must be very small. At the same time, the approach should provide a good overview of the pilots. "North American" elected comparable conventional way to appease both claims made windshields double, the outer of them, as the upper surface of the fuselage in front of the nose glasses — mobile. In flight at low speed they fell, providing the necessary review, and in supersonic flight podymali, forming a smooth transition. The total area of a glass cockpit is 9.3 m All the transparent panels, the largest of which has a length greater than 1.8 m are made of heat-resistant tempered glass.

Quite a unique feature of the "Valkyrie" became wingtips, deflected in cruise flight down to increase stability and reduce the Putnam trim drag. In addition, they have allowed to reduce the area of the vertical stabilizer, thereby increment aerodynamic efficiency by about 5%. The company said., In a supersonic cruise flight glide plane is equal 8-8.5. and subsonic — about 12-13.

In bolshennom bomb bay almost 9 meters in length, located between channels vozduhopoglotitelya could settle all types of nuclear bombs. Bomb bay locked sliding a large flat panel, which on opening sezzhala back. However, the release of such bombs compartment at supersonic speeds is the problem of flight. The assets of "North American" or, rather, on the liabilities already had experience developing a similar design — the company has not brought to the conditional-known linear bomb bay on the supersonic "Vidzhelente" because of what deck bomber turned into espionage.

Chassis "Valkyrie" is also noteworthy. In order to reduce occupied space in the retracted position, four-wheeled carts on the main bearings before the harvest turned and clung to the rack With all of this on each wagon had a small fifth wheel automatic release, preventing the movement of the aircraft skidding and skidding on slippery surfaces. Tire wheel diameter 1060 mm, made of special rubber and covered with silver paint to reflect infrared radiation before the flight at tremendous speeds pneumatic freshest tinted paint. During braking on heating pneumatic wheels up to 230 ° C over pressure dumped in their special valve that prevented the explosions.

Cabin B-70 pilots was at the height of 6 m above the ground, which necessitated the introduction of special lifts for the crew and technical staff. Thanks to the strong air-conditioning and sealing, the crew members 'Valkyrie' could dress in a light summer suits and helmets with oxygen masks. It gives them freedom of movement and relative comfort, unlike other high-altitude pilots and high-speed aircraft. For example, pilots of high-speed A-12 had to fly in space suits from gallakticheskogo ship "Gemini", and the pilots altitude U-2 — in special suits and masks. Cabin B-70 repmoleregorodkoy was divided into two compartments, each of which during high-altitude flights could apply pressure, a corresponding adjustment to 2440 m in a decompression of the fuselage revealed two doors that provide cabin pressurization incident flow. Along it in the center there was a passage leading into the bay from the electrical equipment in the back of the cab. Used for heat insulation fiberglass. To cool the cockpit compartment and electrical equipment were two refrigerated, who worked on freon.

In the first flight landing gear failed to remove

Members of the crew of B-70 were located in various capsules, which should improve the security of the bailout constructively in all flight modes. Any capsule had an autonomous system and boost the oxygen supply is designed to promote human life for 3 days in her chair regulated by the angle and height. Specifically, before the pilot's ejection seat back deflected by 20 °. and sash capsule locked. Automatically dropped upper fuselage panel, and catapulting the capsule to a height of about 1 .5 m above the fuselage, then cut one of its jet engine. Then out of the capsule were put forward two cylindrical rod with a small parachute on the ends to provide stabilization d
uring free fall. The main parachute drop-down automaton. To cushion the impact of the land on the days of the capsule had an inflatable rubber cushions. Design speeds bailout — from 167 km / h to the respective Mach 3 at an altitude of about 21,000 m bailout capsules of all crew members performed. With 0.5-second intervals. At the same time, in some emergency situations could close the pilot in a capsule without ejection. It had buttons with which you can control the plane to go down for the height of a non-hazardous, and the management of engines from the capsule confined to the decrease in the number of turns. In front of the capsule there was a window allows you to look for indications of devices. After lowering the sash capsule would be opened, and the pilot could regain control of the aircraft in normal mode.

Because the design of the B-70 was calculated on a long flight with a speed of more than 3000 km / h One of the most challenging problems in its development was the kinetic heat. For the "Valkyrie", this problem was even more complicated than for experimental aircraft "North American" X-15. designed for short-lived flight at hypersonic speeds, respectively, the number M 6. If the surface temperature of the last peaks reached 650 ° C and kept at this level, only a couple of minutes, then the B-70 picture is different. Long, for a few hours, the flight at M 3 achieves that a significant part of the overall aircraft design could work well at 330? C. This resulted in the selection of materials as the main structural strength steel and titanium engines temperatures in the compartments, which reached 870 ° C, determined on the basis of the use of alloys of nickel and cobalt. For the protection of drives and other devices from the heat emitted engines used felts silica. External cladding engine compartment was made of titanium. Operating temperatures of some windows on the cockpit reached 260 S. Wheel wells had cooled to 120 ° C with a solution of ethylene glycol circulating through the tubes soldered to the walls. When selecting construction materials taken into account not only the highest temperature, and the likely weather conditions. For instance. to study the impact of rain broke up the company with the introduction of elements of the construction of missile carts to a speed of 1,500 km / h To reduce the weight of the structure used "puff" panel consisting of 2-iron sheets in width from 0.75 to 1.78 mm and a honeycomb core between them. If all such panels are put together side by side, they would cover an area of 1,765 sq. Apart from low weight and superior strength, such panels have a low thermal conductivity. The aviation industry since then did not have the technology to produce such panels, and the company started from scratch.

But, perhaps more fundamental in the development of "Valkyrie" than the use of new materials, a shift from manual riveting and assembly of the aircraft structure to the mechanical soldering and welding, which is comparable with the revolution in shipbuilding. In the factory building where the assembly was conducted XB-70A, instead of knocking Pneumatic hiss was heard only 10 Female welders and grinders, strip joints. A method of assembling an aircraft structure by welding was so new that the welding equipment, methods of its implementation and development of welded joints were quite developed exclusively during assembly of the first prototype. In some construction sites where no riveting was impossible to avoid, to save weight rivets changed flared on both sides of tubes.

Problems in the design of HV-70 were so many that the company "North American" could not alone cope with such a big part of the problem and the work transferred to other firms, which number over 2,000. The most important of them are: "Air Research" (air data system). "Autonetik" (automatic control). "Avco" (top rear section of the fuselage), "Chance Vought" (horizontal and vertical tail). "Newman Dynamics (chassis). "Curtiss Wright" (all-wheel drive system differences wing). "Hamilton Standard" (air conditioning system). «Pop» (elevons and wing leading edge), "Solar" (air intake). "Sperry" (inertial navigation system). "Sundstrand" (auxiliary power unit).

"Valkyrie", accompanied by the B-58A vorachivaetsya after first crossing the sound barrier. October 12, 1964 Mr.
In this flight, crumbling paint on many areas of the surface plane

The largest contractor company "Boeing" — commissioned the design and creation of the wing, "Valkyrie," which was the largest since a delta wing dimensions of some of sandwich panels with honeycomb cladding reached 2.4×6 meters They were made in rooms with controlled atmosphere brazing process, with staff worked in white gloves. Eleven fuel tanks, compartments in the wing and fuselage, seats about 136 tons of fuel and had a welded construction. According to statements by the Air Force. it was one prerequisite delay construction of aircraft — technology could not provide the density of the welds. The porosity of them were usually microscopic, but it had to be removed because the flight tanks nadduvalis nitrogen leak which would lead to the ingress of air into the tanks and an explosive consistency. First remove the sample flow soldering have been completely unsuccessful. In this regard, the sealant developed rubbery "Viton" At the place where leakage is detected. One coat "Viton". which froze for 6 hours at 177 C. Typically, required to eliminate the cause leakage over 6 layers "Viton". The coating was performed in a sterile man clothes that are closed inside the tank. Then to check the sealing of the tank pumped helium there.

Helium leak was determined by special sensors. On the second prototype of sealed containers in a new way. Areas suspected leak of covering nickel foil width of 0.75 mm. which is soldered to the sides with silver solder. When the wing, in the end, made and delivered to the assembly plant, it appears that it is not joined to the fuselage! With the tremendous difficulties manually, it managed to fit and attach by welding.

First XB-70A built by early May 1964 after a delay of as much as 18 months of May 11 was accomplished festive ceremony rollout of the aircraft assembly plant, where the director of programs from production XB-70, General Fraud Dzh.Skalli presented the most experienced staff of the standard bomber media. First flight was scheduled for August — the company wanted three months to check all of the unique machine. Wide programm ground tests included testing performance gear, flaps and landing gear compartment niches drogue under dynamic and static loads, vibration tests using the above ground to assess the features of flutter; calibration of the air conditioning system, fuel system and power plant (with gazovkami engines on earth ) test and calibrate instrumentation. In positioned the bomb bay empty container control and recording equipment which recorded the characteristics of several hundred boats of various aircraft systems. Naturally, such a tremendous job company came in handy not three, but almost 5 months.

The second instance of "Valkyrie" is flying with declined by 25 ° wing tips
"Valkyrie" is ready to fly to the greatest fast? And. Wingtips rejected by 65 g

The final step of ground tests, which began in September 1964. included taxiing and jogging on the runway, health check of the exhaust system 3 brake parachute diameter of 8 meters without the use of parachutes, aircraft would be required runway length of over 4100 meters Temperature wheel brakes during jogging reached 1070 ° C, tires were heated up to 120 ° S. During the last steps of ground tests worked very function refueling. The average filling "Valkyrie" lasted half an hour. Initially, the fuel is pumped from the 1st tanker in the second, empty, in the meantime, which was fed a dry nitrogen at the highest pressure, nitrogen was blown through the fuel in the filler and the oppressed oxygen. So Makarov, the fuel tanks have been reported in the so-inert (non-hazardous), as this can be achieved in the field criteria. Fact. that the fuel used as coolant for certain aircraft systems and flight ordinary temperature exceeded 100 ° C. If the oxygen content in the fuel exceeds the permitted limit, the vapors could erupt. So Makar, if "Valkyrie" ran the conventional method, the plane could have just blown up in the air.

At this time, the second most experienced X8-70A was in the assembly stage. Pick it up in the air was planned at the end of 1964 a second major difference was the presence of an experienced reference small cross «V» wing (of 5 °). The angles of the wings are also differences in the increment of 5 °.

Flight test XB-70A produced two of the crew. At the head of each was a very experienced "firm" test pilot and co-pilot was a representative of the Air Force. The main crew headed by Elle White (previously flown on the F-107), the co-pilot was Colonel John Cotton. Their stand-ins were civilian test pilot Wang Shepard and Major Fitz Fulton. Flights planned to spend over sparsely populated areas of the United States. extending from Edwards Air Force Base in the direction of the state of Utah.

Flight tests

September 21, 1964 at 8 h 38 min in the morning and managed by White Cotton XB-70A taxied to start, and the White requested permission to take off. The plane had to make pereleg with industrial airfield Palmdele in the Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base Air Force. During the run, "Valkyrie" comped two helicopter rescue service, and in the air for her behavior observed from aboard a double T-38. Another T-38 produced a film the entire event. Nose wheel off the ground at a speed of 280 km / h and a moment later the car began to climb. Bede had already begun when you try to remove the chassis: front support tidied up properly, and the principal worked only half applets. I had to return the chassis to the starting position. After a while refused fuel automation 1st of 6 engines. But this "aerial adventure-XB-70A is not over. The biggest problem was waiting for the crew during a touchdown Edwards Air Force Base. Brake discs on the left front jammed, and ignited by friction pneumatic wheels. Throughout two kilometers run after the car clubs were drawn dark smoke from the burning rubber. After stopping the fire was extinguished, and the car was towed to the hangar. First flight lasted 60 minutes.

XB-70A number 2 in the last flight. Near F-104, piloted by John Walker
Landing with the left landing gear malfunction. March 1966 g
Nasal support jammed during harvesting. April 30, 1966 Mr.

To address the identified deficiencies took two weeks. October 5 XB-70A made a second flight. The pilots intended to break the sound barrier, and a maintenance group included the supersonic B-58. Remove the chassis without any problems, but now the surprise was presented by hydraulic control system. A small crack in the tube at a working pressure of water at 280 kgf / cm? (Which is 35% more than in the hydraulic systems of ordinary American aircraft) has led to a decrease in pressure in system and switch to the alternate channel. All the same, the plane landed safely on one of the runways airbase.

October 12 in the 3rd flight, which lasted 105 minutes, first experienced the standard of "Valkyrie" headed for the height of 10,700 m for the first time broke the sound barrier, speeding up to speed, the respective M 1.1. At the time of transition from vibration barrier with some parts of the surface plane flew paint, and after landing XB-70A was very kind of rinky-dink.

In the fourth flight. 24 October, at an altitude of 13,000 m the first to include a control system wingtips, and brought up in afterburner all 6 engines. The greatest differences between the tips of the angle was 25 °. Within 40 minutes the plane was flying at a speed of M = 1.4. was just manageable and behave consistently. However, the fuel consumption was higher than expected, and the program from the flight had to be reduced. The aircraft returned to the factory for testing and recovery in the strength of the paint coating. Continue test flights scheduled in February 1965

In accordance with the plan of February 16, XB-70A Edwards returned to base. In flight, the wing tip is deflected by 65 °. The highest rate was 1.6 M. On landing failed system release brake parachute, and the plane braked only after the 3383 m run. In the sixth flight the aircraft was flown for the first time Fulton, played the role of co-pilot of Wight. In the air, there was a small leak in the hydraulic system does not affect the safety of flight.

In the seventh flight "Valkyrie" overclocked to Mach 1.85. and the aircraft was flying with her for 60 minutes.

In the eighth flight of the wheel XB-70A sat Shepard. It is the first time brought plane the rate of M = 2. So Makar, all four pilots tried "Valkyrie."

In the ninth flight XB-70A is again headed for the M-2. At this time the surprise was presented radio navigation system TACAN. According to the testimony of devices, the machine had to fly over the Mojave Desert, and in fact "Valkyrie" swept over the sleeping of early morning Las Vegas.

In the tenth flight bomber spent 74 supersonic a Minute, 50 of them — at a speed of 2,200 km / h

May 7, 1965, in the twelfth flight at a speed of 2.58 M pilots felt a sharp blow. In engines 3, 4, 5, 6, fell momentum and began to increase in temperature. They had to shut down, and the flight continued on the 2-left. With the support of aircraft said that HV 70A collapsed front wing tip (apex of the triangle). Perhaps, the shards hit the air intake. At the approach to the airfield pilots tried a fifth engine for the creation of at least some traction on the right side. For luck, they succeeded. Landing was successful. During the inspection confirmed the worst fear: of skin damaged to varying degrees, all 6 engines, which had to be changed.

From udapa F-104 exploded and XB-70A is still flying by inertia
In the fourteenth flight "Valkyrie" at an altitude of 20725 m headed for Mach 2.85 (3,010 km / h)

October 14, 1965, in the seventeenth flight, at an altitude of 21335 m XB-70A headed for his own design speed corresponding to the number of M-3. According to the task, the duration of the flight at that speed should have been 5-6 minutes, but after 2 minutes the pilots heard a loud noise and turned off the afterburner. The cause of the noise is rapidly learned: with aircraft maintenance was perfectly clear that the section leading edge left wing size 0,3 x0.9 m, located near the outer edge of the vozduhopoglotitelya, was torn high pressure. By happy coincidence, this piece of skin is not ranked in the engines. Inspection of the aircraft showed that curved skin panel moved to the weld and fell down without damaging the honeycomb. Now repair X8-70A took only one day.

After that, the highest version of the flight speed of the first prototype reference limited 2.5. and all flights to the number of M = 3 have decided to hold the plane number 2. overflight of which took place July 17, 1965 Mr. In-flight immediately reached the speed of M = 1.4.

Routine flight "Valkyrie" was held followed properly. After take-off and landing gear pilots began to climb. At a speed of 740 to 1100 km / h wingtips were deflected by 25? in order to increment the stability in the transonic region. Upon reaching the M-0.95 podymali outside the cockpit windshields, after this review was becoming practically zero, and the aircraft was driven only devices. Then he breaks the sound barrier. Mach 1.5 at a height of 9753 m socks wing deflected to 60?, And the XB-70A continued to climb to 15,240 m down the plane took M = 2 and at an altitude of 21,000 m out on the M 3 Thus, on December 11 1965, the second instance of the bombers in their own fifteenth flight was flying at Mach 2.8 for 20 minutes. No damage to the structure found.

After 10 days, December 21, after 7 minutes of flight at Mach 2.9 on the plane refused to number 2 oil pump fourth motor. Immediately turn off the engine and the aircraft deployed to the airfield. A couple of minutes after which the temperature of the gases of the turbine engines of the sixth exceeded the permissible limits, and it also had to turn off Landing passed without comment, but the two engines had to be replaced. Frequent breakdowns engines caused concern among professionals. The case that produced a total of 38 TRD YJ93-GE-3, and there could not be enough until the end of the test applets.

Some faults have become classics. So. in the 37th flight in March 1966. Aircraft number one again refused hydraulic system, and the left main landing gear was stuck in the middle position. Shepard managed to land a jeweler's car on the surface of the dry lake Rogers, mileage totaled more than 4.8 km. April 30, 1966 White and Cotton had to spend at Mach 3 over an hour, but after takeoff, the nose landing gear on the aircraft number 2 is not tidied up. Samples returned it to the extended position and have not met with success. It was the most severe incident since the start of flight testing. If the rack is not able to release, the pilots would have had to bail out, after a forced landing in a longish "swan neck" XB-70A would inevitably be broken, the fuel from the tanks would have flooded the engines and then …

White twice entered the gate and hit the main pillars of the runway surface, but the front foot wedged thoroughly While the "Valkyrie" circled in the air by burning fuel in store large, breaking open the head engineers to solve prepyadstviya Apart 2-hydraulic landing gear was to the a third — electronic, but it is disconnected from the electrical overloads. The only solution was to try to short fuses electronic iron object. Cotton took everyday paperclip that holds the sheets flying mission, and along the narrow prolazit between rescue capsules crawled to the panel with fuses. On opening the flap, he commands from the ground found the right contacts and locked them straightened paper clip. Nose strut was in extended position. But the day after the newspaper headlines such as "clip of 39 cents rescues plane of 750 million dollars."

The planned long flight at M = 3 consummated only on May 19. The plane was flying at that speed I for 33 minutes. In that flight were achieved maximum speed and altitude for always test XB-70A: M = 3.08 m and 22555 respectively This achievement marked the end of the first phase of flight tests.

The subsequent phase was carried out, in the main, in the interest of NASA — for research sonic booms. In the example program kerf new pilots — employees of NASA. The first pilot to appoint an experienced test pilot office "North American" John Walker. who had just graduated from flying at hypersonic X-15. In the aircraft bomb bay number 2 installed the latest equipment at the cost of 50 million dollars to fix the crimps and vibration design with the sound barrier. The first flight of the second phase planned for June 8, 1966 flight had two purposes: test the latest equipment and shoot a film about the marketing "Valkyrie." For greater effect was accompanied by a large bomber fighter F-4B, F-5, F-104 and a training aircraft T-38.

At 8 h 27 min in the morning their seats in the cockpit XB-70A took White and Major K. Cross. It was the 46th flight of the number 2 and the first flight of Charles Cross. One of the aircraft maintenance — F-104 "Starfighter" was piloted by John Walker. When the planes hit through the clouds, lined up to take pictures, F-104, flying to the right of "Valkyrie", touched the wing of the lowered ending right wing bombers, turned over its fuselage, having beaten him both the keel hit the left arm and exploded. Bomber pilots did not immediately realized what happened. 71 seconds "Valkyrie" continued to forward flight, then turned over the wing, went into a tailspin and fell. Ella managed to escape only to White, who managed to catapult its capsule in the last seconds before the fall. Him lying on the ground saw the parachute from the rescue helicopter 20 kilometers from the wreckage XB-70A. The landing capsule with a half-parachute came out very rough, White received severe injuries and three day or not regained consciousness. From the bomber's not enough left. Nose section, which was located in the Cross (believed he lost consciousness overload), broke into several pieces. Did exploded machine in the air. White recovered, but never flew.

After that disaster, the tests of the remaining aircraft number one lasted two years. First flight after the crash occurred Nov. 1, 1966, then was made even 32 flight. In total, XB-70A completed 83 number 1 and number 2 — 46 flights. Total flying 2-planes was 254.2 hours, one of their number — 160 hours.

The instrument panel in the cockpit
The nose landing gear

In 1968, work on the B-70 was stopped. February 4, 1969 "Valkyrie" flew into the air one last time. The machine is controlled Fityu Fulton from "North America." and Ted Stenfold from Air Force XB-70A landed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and became a museum exhibit of the Air Force. During the transfer of aircraft to representatives of the museum one of the pilots said that he — … agree on everything
to "Valkyrie" continued to fly, but not willing to pay for flying-.

Indeed, the total price of the flight test programs from XB-70A cost the South American budget to 1.5 billion dollars. Only one flight bomber costs about 11 million dollars (according to other sources, only 1 hour flight was worth 5.9 million dollars). Because "Valkyrie" consider not only the most high-speed of the huge planes (he flew twice faster bullets (1)), and the most expensive of them.

1 * Haprimer, TT pistol bullet speed when flying out of the barrel is only 420 m with all the / c (1,512 km / h)

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