loading..

Major General Robert Michael White Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

MAJOR GENERAL ROBERT MICHAEL WHITE
Born: July 6, 1924 in New York City, New York
Died: March 17, 2010 in Orlando, Florida
Biography | show moreshow less
Rank: Maojor General
X-15 Flight Pilot, Deceased
Selection: 57 MISS Group

Missions: X-15 Flight 62


White was designated the Air Force's primary pilot for the North American X-15 program in 1958. While the new plane was undergoing its initial tests, he attended the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, graduating in 1959. He made his first test flight of the X-15 on April 15, 1960, when the aircraft was fitted with two interim, 16,000 lbf (71 kN) thrust rocket engines. Four months later he flew to an altitude of 136,000 ft (41.5 km, above Rogers Dry Lake. White would have participated in the Air Force's Man In Space Soonest program, had it come to fruition.

In February, 1961, White unofficially set a new air speed record when he flew the X-15 at a speed of 2,275 mph (3,660 km/h), following the installation of a 57,000 lbf (254 kN) thrust XLR-99 engine. White was the first human to fly an aircraft at Mach 4 and later Mach 5 over the next eight months. On 9 November 1961, White flew the X-15 at 4,093 mph (6,590 km/h), making him the first pilot to fly a winged craft at six times the speed of sound (Mach 6). President John F. Kennedy used the occasion to confer the most prestigious award in American aviation, the Robert J. Collier Trophy, jointly to White and three of his fellow X-15 pilots; NASA's Joseph Walker, Commander Forrest S. Peterson of the U.S. Navy, and North American Aviation test pilot Scott Crossfield. A day later, Air Force Chief of Staff General Curtis E. LeMay awarded White his new rating as a Command Pilot Astronaut.

On 17 July 1962, Major White flew the X-15 to an altitude of 314,750 feet (59 miles, 96 km). This qualified him for an Astronaut Badge, becoming the first "Winged Astronaut", and one of a few who have flown into space without a conventional spacecraft. Major Bob White was featured with a cover story in the August 3d, 1962 issue of LIFE magazine, detailing his July 17, 1962 flight.

World-Wide Shipping

Fast FedEx and USPS shipping

Authenticity Guaranteed

COA with every purchase

Questions Answered 24/7

Contact us day or night

Submit Offers

Get a quick response