In the United States the first pictures were released today of America's fastest and highest flying jet missile - the X-7.
In the United States the first pictures were released today of America's fastest and highest flying jet missile - the X-7. Its tough, thin nose containing research instruments is attached to its bulky tail which houses the ramjet engine.
Carried aloft by a B-29 it is launched into the upper atmosphere where a rocket boosts it to a super speed until a ramjet takes over.
In a recent test flight, the missile's special heat resistant paint was scorched black by the searing friction of its air speed.
The X - 7 was designed to test ramjet engines for the Air Force at its New Mexico research centre. A camera in the missile films during flight, and it is tracked by radar from the ground. But the X-7 is recoverable by special parachute. The limp 'schute fills up as the missile drops into denser air and finally lands on a nose spike which absorbs the shock. Each recovery saves about 350,000 dollars.
One X - 7 has made ten flights... and is still making them