Encyclopedia Astronautica
1964.01.22 - North American began deployment flights of the full-scale test vehicle for the Paraglider Landing System Program.


The contract called for 20 tests to demonstrate deployment of the full-scale wing from the rendezvous and recovery can, followed by glide and radio-controlled maneuvering; each test was to be terminated by release of the wing and recovery by the emergency parachute system (which had been qualified on December 3, 1963).

Twenty-five deployment flight tests were actually conducted. The first five flights (January 22, February 18, March 6, April 10, and April 22) achieved some success, but flight No. 6 (April 30) was the first to complete the entire sequence successfully. Flight No. 7 (May 28) was also successful. The next four flights (June 12, June 29, July 15, and July 23) again ran into trouble. A successful flight No. 12 (July 29) was followed by a series of problem flights (August 1, August 7, August 13, August 17, August 25, September 1, September 11, September 24, October 12, and October 16); the deployment sequence in these flights was generally satisfactory, but achieving a stable glide remained elusive. The last three flights (October 23, November 6, and December 1), however, successfully demonstrated the complete test sequence with no problems.

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