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A New Breed of Lifting Body
- Type: SPH
- Class: aircraft
- Part Count: 88
- Pure Stock
The HL-10 was the continuation of NASA’s lifting body program of the 1960s, and the first of a new type of lifting body. Rather than the bathtub-shaped aircraft that were emblemized by the M2Fx program. The sleek, rounded design would be used in the Martin Marietta X-24A, as well as in designs for many orbital-class lifting-body proposals.
Interestingly enough, the futuristic-looking HL-10 found its way into pop culture alongside another lifting body. The hit TV show ‘the Six Million Dollar Man’, which spawned the phrase
We can rebuild him, we have the technology featured shots of both the HL-10 and the M2F2 in the opening credits. Footage of a crash involving the M2F2 is central to the plot, causing main character Steve Austin to be so badly injured that he could only be saved with bionic implants. In real life, the pilot Bruce Peterson walked away from the crash with only minor injuries.
This is easily one of my favorite photographs of the X-plane program, up there with the iconic shot of the X-15 attached to the B-52.
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