Thursday, April 04, 2013

About the XB-70 'Valkyrie'

The H.A.M.B. forum has numerous photos of the cool XB-70 Valkyrie. The XB-70 was a prototype, 6-engined, Mach-3 capable bomber. The program was eventually cancelled due to price/performance and operational concerns. The whole saga is described on Wikipedia.

I borrowed three of the photos as shown below. The first two (from user DocWatson) show the XB-70 by itself and with a bevy of chase planes (F-4, F-5, T-38, and a F-104). The latter photo shows the second XB-70, serial no. 2070, on its last flight on June 8th, 1966.  The F-104 (only its red tail is visible), was sucked into a vortex and collided with the XB-70s vertical stabilizers. The F-104 immediately burst into flames, killing the test pilot.  With no control, the XB-70 also soon fell from the sky. Unfortunately, the co-pilot was unable to eject and also perished. That brings us to the third photo (from user applecrate), which was taken shortly after the collision. Kinda creepy but still an interesting shot. This YouTube video presents montage of before and after photos. This one shows some video of prior to the event and still photos of the aftermath.

One of my interests is of course flying models, so I'll reference my previous posts about John McCoy's MircoMaxx, clustered, PMC of the XB-70 (the build...the flight). I'd like to see a bigger version.