miamiair/forum/images/avatars/gallery/first/user54/1.pngoffline(netAirspace FAA) 18 Nov 21, 18:43
On this day in history; William John "Pete" Knight was born.(November 18th, 1929 – May 7, 2004) (Col, USAF) American aeronautical engineer, politician, Vietnam War combat pilot, test pilot, and astronaut. He was one of twelve pilots who flew the North American X-15. On one sortie, Pete was climbing through 107,000 feet at Mach 4.17 on June 29th, 1967, he suffered a total electrical failure with all onboard systems shutting down. After reaching an apex altitude of 173,000 feet above sea level, Pete calmly set up a visual approach (From 150,000 feet) and, resorting to an old fashioned deadstick flight with no instrumentation, gliding down to a safe and uneventful emergency touchdown at Mud Lake, Nevada.
For his remarkable feat of airmanship on that day, Pete earned a Distinguished Flying Cross.
And let's get one thing straight. There's a big difference between a pilot and an aviator. One is a technician; the other is an artist in love with flight. — E. B. Jeppesen
JLAmber/forum/images/avatars/gallery/first/user61/1.pngoffline(netAirspace ATC & Founding Member) 18 Nov 21, 20:44
Crazy to think how new flight at anything over Mach-1 was at that time and just how far they were pushing the envelope. That was definitely a new trousers day!
A million great ideas...
DXing/forum/images/avatars/gallery/business/1.pngoffline19 Nov 21, 16:55
Miamiair wrote:Pete was climbing through 107,000 feet at Mach 4.17 on June 29th, 1967, he suffered a total electrical failure with all onboard systems shutting down.
At that point he was above safe ejection speed and by the time he bled off the speed he was above the safe ejection altitude so not much of a choice in the matter! Still a pretty good feat of flying though. Pete was also supposed to pilot the last X15 flight but after several weather delays it was cancelled and never rescheduled.
The X-15 had an ejection seat designed to operate at speeds up to Mach 4 (4,480 km/h; 2,784 mph) and/or 120,000 feet (37 km) altitude, although it was never used during the program. In the event of ejection, the seat was designed to deploy fins, which were used until it reached a safer speed/altitude at which to deploy its main parachute. Pilots wore pressure suits, which could be pressurized with nitrogen gas.