The X-15 can trace its origins back to June 24, 1952, when a NACA committee resolved that the NACA should expand its research aircraft program in order to explore flight characteristics of atmospheric and exo-atmospheric designs capable of 4 to 10 Mach speeds and 12 to 50 mile altitudes. In December 1955 Nort American received contract from the Air Force calling for the design, construction and development of three X-15 aircrafts. On October 15, 1958, the first aircraft, 56-6670, was rolled out of North American's Los Angeles plants doors for the first time. Following the 5 months of ground testing, on March 10, 1959, the first X-15 with NA company test pilot Scott Crossfield at the controls, completed its first captive flight under the wing of its B-52 carrier aircraft. Several additional captive flights followed, these culminating in the first glide flight on June 8. Development problems with the X-15's XLR99 rocket engine had led to a decision to complete initial powered flights with 2 XLR11 rocket engines. The first powered flight conducted on September 17, 1959, utilizing the second aircraft, 56-6671. During the flight, with Crossfield again the pilot, the X-15 achieved a maximum speed of 2.11 Mach and a maximum altitude of 52,341 ft. The first aircraft made its powered flight on January 23, 1960.

X-15-1 56-6670
official roll-out - October 15, 1958
first glide flight - June 8, 1959

X-15-2 56-6671

first powered flight - September 17, 1959

Conversion set for Special Hobby's 1/48 X-15 A-2 kit (#SH48 008) is including 71 parts (20 resin, 51 decals). In the set decals and painiting scheme for both aircrafts are included.