Test pilots and Northrop HL-10, 1969

Test pilots and Northrop HL-10, 1969

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Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Test pilots and Northrop HL-10. This was one of a series of experimental space re-entry aircraft known as lifting body designs. The four principal HL-10 pilots are present, left to right: Jerauld R. Gentry, Peter Hoag, John A. Manke and Bill Dana. Lifting body aircraft had short, bulbous or curved fuselages and featured minimal wings or were wingless, features that aided re-entry from space. The HL-10, dropped from B-52 planes, was flown from July 1966 to November 1975. Despite its success, NASA cancelled the lifting body design in favour of the delta wing during early Space Shuttle development. Photographed in 1969, on Rogers Dry Lake Bed, California, USA.

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