Encyclopedia Astronautica
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M2-F2

M2F2 lifting body

M2F2 lifting body
M2F2 lifting body / F-104N chase plane
Credit: NASA

American manned spaceplane. Study 1966. The least stable of the lifting body designs. The 'flying bathtub' had a rounded belly / flat top layout as opposed to the flat belly / rounded top of the other designs.

Status: Study 1966.

The M2-F2 crashed on 10 May 1967, seriously injuring the test pilot (the footage became familiar to millions when it was used in the opening credits of the television series 'The Six Million Dollar Man').

The original M2-F1 was a plywood glider towed from pickup trucks and C-47 transports as part of an 'in house' NASA Edwards project in 1963. The M2-F2 was built by Northrop at the same time as the HL-10 to permit a 'flyoff' of the two competing designs. John Becker at NACA believed the weight savings touted by lifting body advocates were an illusion. His analysis of the Ames M2b showed that it was 360 kg heavier than an equivalent winged design. Despite this, lifting body advocates continued to push their designs until the NASA shuttle design phase, when the same conclusion was reached.

Subtopics

M2-F3 American manned spaceplane. 43 launches, 1966.07.12 to 1971.12.21 . The crashed M2-F2 was rebuilt as the M2-F3 with enlarged vertical stabilizers. Maximum speed achieved was Mach 1.6, top altitude 21,800 m.

Family: Spaceplane, Suborbital, US Rocketplanes. Country: USA. Engines: XLR11. Propellants: Lox/Alcohol. Agency: Northrop. More at: 6664. Bibliography: 4342, 4343, 4344, 44, 49, 97.
Photo Gallery

MS-F2 after crashMS-F2 after crash
MS-F2 after near-fatal crash on landing
Credit: NASA


M2F1 / M2F2M2F1 / M2F2
M2F1 / M2F2 lifting bodies
Credit: NASA



1962 September - .
  • M2-F1 lifting body first flight. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: HL-10, M2-F2, X-24A.

    The lifting body concept was first tested at Dryden with a plywood prototype designated the M2-F1 built in late 1962. It featured a plywood shell built by Gus Briegleb, a sailplane builder from Mirage Dry Lake, Calif., placed over a tubular frame built at Dryden. The M2-F1 was towed aloft, first behind an auto and then a C-47 more than 100 times, to validate basic lifting body stability and control characteristics. This led to establishment of the formal program which resulted in the HL-10, M2-F2, M2-F3, X-24A, and X-24B lifting bodies.


1966 July 2 - .
  • M2 Flight 1 - . Crew: Thompson. Payload: M2-F2 flight 1. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Thompson. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F2. First flight M2-F2. Maximum Speed - 727 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 217 sec..

1966 July 9 - .
  • M2 Flight 2 - . Crew: Thompson. Payload: M2-F2 flight 2. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Thompson. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F2. Maximum Speed - 634 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 245sec..

1966 August 12 - .
  • M2 Flight 3 - . Crew: Thompson. Payload: M2-F2 flight 3. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Thompson. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F2. Maximum Speed - 656 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 278 sec..

1966 August 24 - .
  • M2 Flight 4 - . Crew: Thompson. Payload: M2-F2 flight 4. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Thompson. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F2. Maximum Speed - 718 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 241 sec..

1966 September 2 - .
  • M2 Flight 5 - . Crew: Thompson. Payload: M2-F2 flight 5. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Thompson. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F2. Maximum Speed - 750 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 226sec..

1966 September 16 - .
1966 September 20 - .
  • M2 Flight 7 - . Crew: Sorlie. Payload: M2-F2 flight 7. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Sorlie. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F2. Maximum Speed - 677 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 211 sec..

1966 September 22 - .
1966 September 28 - .
  • M2 Flight 9 - . Crew: Sorlie. Payload: M2-F2 flight 9. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Sorlie. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F2. Maximum Speed - 713 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 233 sec..

1966 October 5 - .
  • M2 Flight 10 - . Crew: Sorlie. Payload: M2-F2 flight 10. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Sorlie. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F2. Maximum Speed - 713 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 225 sec..

1966 October 12 - .
  • M2 Flight 11 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: M2-F2 flight 11. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F2. Maximum Speed - 692 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 234 sec..

1966 October 26 - .
  • M2 Flight 12 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: M2-F2 flight 12. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F2. Maximum Speed - 702 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 227 sec..

1966 November 14 - .
  • M2 Flight 13 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: M2-F2 flight 13. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F2. Maximum Speed - 642 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 261 sec..

1966 November 21 - .
  • M2 Flight 14 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: M2-F2 flight 14. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F2. Maximum Speed - 716 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 230 sec..

1967 May 2 - .
  • M2 Flight 15 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: M2-F2 flight 15. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F2. Maximum Speed - 661 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 231 sec..

1967 May 10 - .
1970 June 2 - .
  • M2 Flight 17 - . Crew: Dana. Payload: M2-F3 flight 1. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Dana. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. First M2-F3 flight. Maximum Speed - 755 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13716 m. Flight Time - 218 sec..

1970 July 21 - .
  • M2 Flight 18 - . Crew: Dana. Payload: M2-F3 flight 2. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Dana. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Maximum Speed - 708 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13716 m. Flight Time - 228 sec..

1970 November 2 - .
  • M2 Flight 19 - . Crew: Dana. Payload: M2-F3 flight 3. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Dana. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Maximum Speed - 690 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13716 m. Flight Time - 236 sec..

1970 November 25 - .
  • M2 Flight 20 - . Crew: Dana. Payload: M2-F3 flight 4. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Dana. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. First powered flight. Maximum Speed - 859 kph. Maximum Altitude - 15819 m. Flight Time - 377 sec..

1971 February 9 - .
  • M2 Flight 21 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: M2-F3 flight 5. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Maximum Speed - 755 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13716 m. Flight Time - 241 sec..

1971 February 26 - .
  • M2 Flight 22 - . Crew: Dana. Payload: M2-F3 flight 6. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Dana. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Maximum Speed - 821 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13716 m. Flight Time - 348 sec..

1971 July 23 - .
  • M2 Flight 23 - . Crew: Dana. Payload: M2-F3 flight 7. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Dana. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Maximum Speed - 788 kph. Maximum Altitude - 18440 m. Flight Time - 353 sec..

1971 August 9 - .
  • M2 Flight 24 - . Crew: Dana. Payload: M2-F3 flight 8. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Dana. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Maximum Speed - 1035 kph. Maximum Altitude - 18898 m. Flight Time - 415 sec..

1971 August 25 - .
  • M2 Flight 25 - . Crew: Dana. Payload: M2-F3 flight 9. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Dana. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. First M2-F3 supersonic flight. Maximum Speed - 1163 kph. Maximum Altitude - 20513 m. Flight Time - 390 sec..

1971 September 24 - .
  • M2 Flight 26 - . Crew: Dana. Payload: M2-F3 flight 10. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Dana. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Maximum Speed - 772 kph. Maximum Altitude - 12802 m. Flight Time - 210 sec..

1971 November 15 - .
  • M2 Flight 27 - . Crew: Dana. Payload: M2-F3 flight 11. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Dana. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Glide flight. Maximum Speed - 784 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13716 m. Flight Time - 215 sec..

1971 December 1 - .
  • M2 Flight 28 - . Crew: Dana. Payload: M2-F3 flight 12. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Dana. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Maximum Speed - 1356 kph. Maximum Altitude - 21580 m. Flight Time - 391 sec..

1971 December 16 - .
  • M2 Flight 29 - . Crew: Dana. Payload: M2-F3 flight 13. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Dana. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Maximum Speed - 861 kph. Maximum Altitude - 14265 m. Flight Time - 451 sec..

1972 July 25 - .
  • M2 Flight 30 - . Crew: Dana. Payload: M2-F3 flight 14. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Dana. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Maximum Speed - 1049 kph. Maximum Altitude - 18562 m. Flight Time - 420 sec..

1972 August 11 - .
  • M2 Flight 31 - . Crew: Dana. Payload: M2-F3 flight 15. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Dana. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Maximum Speed - 1168 kph. Maximum Altitude - 20480 m. Flight Time - 375 sec..

1972 August 24 - .
  • M2 Flight 32 - . Crew: Dana. Payload: M2-F3 flight 16. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Dana. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Maximum Speed - 1344 kph. Maximum Altitude - 20330 m. Flight Time - 376 sec..

1972 September 12 - .
  • M2 Flight 33 - . Crew: Dana. Payload: M2-F3 flight 17. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Dana. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Maximum Speed - 935 kph. Maximum Altitude - 14020 m. Flight Time - 387 sec..

1972 September 27 - .
  • M2 Flight 34 - . Crew: Dana. Payload: M2-F3 flight 18. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Dana. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Maximum Speed - 1424 kph. Maximum Altitude - 20330 m. Flight Time - 366.5 sec..

1972 October 5 - .
  • M2 Flight 35 - . Crew: Dana. Payload: M2-F3 flight 19. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Dana. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Maximum Speed - 1455 kph. Maximum Altitude - 20210 m. Flight Time - 376 sec..

1972 October 19 - .
  • M2 Flight 36 - . Crew: Manke. Payload: M2-F3 flight 20. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Manke. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Maximum Speed - 961 kph. Maximum Altitude - 14360 m. Flight Time - 359 sec..

1972 November 1 - .
  • M2 Flight 37 - . Crew: Manke. Payload: M2-F3 flight 21. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Manke. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Maximum Speed - 1292 kph. Maximum Altitude - 21730 m. Flight Time - 378 sec..

1972 November 9 - .
  • M2 Flight 38 - . Crew: Powell. Payload: M2-F3 flight 22. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Powell. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Maximum Speed - 961 kph. Maximum Altitude - 14260 m. Flight Time - 364 sec..

1972 November 21 - .
  • M2 Flight 39 - . Crew: Manke. Payload: M2-F3 flight 23. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Manke. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Maximum Speed - 1524 kph. Maximum Altitude - 20330 m. Flight Time - 377 sec..

1972 November 29 - .
  • M2 Flight 40 - . Crew: Powell. Payload: M2-F3 flight 24. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Powell. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Maximum Speed - 1432 kph. Maximum Altitude - 20570 m. Flight Time - 357 sec..

1972 December 6 - .
  • M2 Flight 41 - . Crew: Powell. Payload: M2-F3 flight 25. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Powell. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Maximum Speed - 1265 kph. Maximum Altitude - 20820 m. Flight Time - 332 sec..

1972 December 13 - .
  • M2 Flight 42 - . Crew: Dana. Payload: M2-F3 flight 26. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Dana. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Fastest M2-F3 flight. Maximum Speed - 1712 kph. Maximum Altitude - 20330 m. Flight Time - 383 sec..

1972 December 21 - .
  • M2 Flight 43 - . Crew: Manke. Payload: M2-F3 flight 27. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Manke. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Last M2-F3 flight, also highest. Maximum Speed - 1377 kph. Maximum Altitude - 21790 m. Flight Time - 390 sec..


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