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Space History Photo: X-2 After Drop from B-50 Mothership

space history, NACA, aircraft
The X-2 drops away from the B-50 Mothership on an unpowered flight.
(Image: © NACA.)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, the Bell Aircraft Company X-2 (46-674) drops away from its Boeing B-50 mothership in this photo in January of 1955. Lt. Col. Frank "Pete" Everest piloted 674 on its first unpowered flight on August 5 1954. He made the first rocket-powered flight on November 18, 1955. Everest made the first supersonic X-2 flight in 674 on April 25, 1956, achieving a speed of Mach 1.40. In July, he reached Mach 2.87, just short of the Mach 3 goal.

The National Advisory Committe 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).

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