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X-24C
Part of X-24 Family

X-24C

X-24C
Credit: USAF

American manned spaceplane. Cancelled 1977. Two X-24C NHFRF (National Hypersonic Flight Research Facility) aircraft were to be built under a $ 200 million budget.

Status: Cancelled 1977.

They would fly 200 flights over ten years, reaching a maximum speed of Mach 8 and being able to cruise at over Mach 6 for 40 seconds. They were cancelled in 1977 after budget overruns.

As the X-15 program wound down in the mid-1960's, NASA and the USAF considered follow-on hypersonic test aircraft. The USAF had significant classified work underway, while NASA Langley undertook two study programs: HYFAC (Hypersonic Research Facility) for a Mach 12 aircraft, and HSRA (High Speed Research Aircraft) for a Mach 8 aircraft. The Air Force revealed it had intentions to build a Mach 3 to 5 test vehicle, and an Incremental Growth Vehicle which would gradually be taken from Mach 4.5 to Mach 9. By July 1974 NASA and the Air Force selected the FDL-8 lifting body configuration. Two versions were proposed: one with cheek air intakes and air-breathing engines, and one with the XLR-99 rocket engine of the X-15. By September 1977 (officially) budget overruns were apparent and NASA agreed to cancel further X-24C work. But given the stories of similar USAF test aircraft in the 1980's, perhaps the project merely went deep black.



Family: Spaceplane, Suborbital, US Rocketplanes. Country: USA. Launch Vehicles: Titan. Agency: Martin. Bibliography: 4282, 48, 7034.

1974 July - .
  • FDL-8 lifting body configuration selected for the X-24C. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft Bus: X-24. Spacecraft: X-24C.

    NASA and the Air Force selected the FDL-8 lifting body configuration for the X-24C. Two versions of the hypersonic aerospacecraft were proposed: one with cheek air intakes and air-breathing engines, and one with the XLR-99 rocket engine of the X-15. Two X-24C were to be built under a $ 200 million budet. They would fly 200 flights over ten years, reaching a maximum speed of Mach 8 and being able to cruise at over Mach 6 for 40 seconds.


1977 September - .
  • X-24C cancelled - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft Bus: X-24. Spacecraft: X-24C. Budget overruns were apparent and NASA agreed to cancel further X-24C work. But given the stories of similar USAF test aircraft in the 1980's, perhaps the project merely went deep black..


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