National Geographic : 1960 Jul
Mother Plane Cradles Rocket-powered X-15 High Above California's Rugged Hills tional, the other operated by a lever called a sidearm controller. I told Walker that several of the astronauts thought his test job more "hairy," or venture some, than theirs, and I was amused at his response, born of a veteran pilot's fondness for wings, however stubby. Needle-nosed research craft, slung beneath the wing of a Boeing B-52, gets a lift into the strato sphere before dropping away for a test flight. "Well, it's good to have those familiar old aerodynamic controls," he grinned. "We're not walking over the edge of a cliff, so to speak, with something new. We may be walking out to the end of a limb, but there is some thing else to step onto; let's say there's a nice big rock out there."