The fastest Navy aircraft in 1957, the Crusader is prepped for air tunnel testing.
In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, a technician prepares dynamic models of the Bell X-1E and the Vought XF-8U Crusader for wind tunnel testing in February of 1957. The Crusader was then the Navy's fastest aircraft (maximum speed Mach 1.75 at 35,000 feet).
The National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) was a precursor to NASA. NACA was created by Congress in 1915.
Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).