F-104A "60763" chasing the North American X-15 ship Nr.3 (56-6672) down to touchdown on Rogers Dry Lake

F-104A, construction number 183-1051, model 183-93-02, US serial number 56-0763, built by Lockheed
built in 1957 at Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank, California, AFFTC support used at Edwards AFB from 1958 to 1964 in the J-79 testing program
used as research aircraft at Edwards AFB, CA, a chase plane for the rocket powered X-15 project
redesignated NF-104, but not fitted with rocket engine
MASDC (4.February 1970-22.October 1974) coded as "FB039"
sold as surplus 1971 to "Consolidated Aircraft Company" in Los Angeles for use in making templates for aviation parts
stored for many years at Mojave, CA and owned by Steve Alex
purchased by a team which is using the fuselage as the basis for a vehicle known as the North American Eagle,
which will attempt to set a land speed record, May 2016 noted; May 2017 noted.
The new owner hopes to recapture the record of 763 mph now held by Andy Green of the United Kingdom.
interesting 763 project's goal is to break the existing record of 763 mph (1,228 km/h)
by reaching 800 mph (1,287 km/h)!

The F-104 chase pilot joined up with the X-15 as it glided to the landing.
The chase pilot was there to warn the X-15 pilot of any problems and to call out the altitude above the lakebed.
F-104 aircraft were also used for X-15 pilot training to simulate the landing characteristics of the rocket-powered airplane,
which landed without engine power since the rocket engine had already burned all of its propellant before the landing.
The F-104s could simulate the steep descent of the X-15 as it glided to a landing.
They did this by extending the landing gear and speed brakes while setting the throttle to idle.

North American Eagle was involved in a horrific accident on August 27, 2019 while extreme athlete, Jessi Combs was attempting to set a land speed record
on the Alvord Dry Lakebed in Oregon. Jessi did not survive.

copyright  Ed Shadle