COOPER'S X-15 MODEL.
Model of the X-15 rocket plane made from black injection-molded plastic and displayed on a 3½ inch square wood base having a label that reads: "X-15 North American Aviation, Inc. Los Angeles Division." Overall length is 15 inches with a 7-inch wing span.
The X-15 Project was a joint USAF, Navy, NASA and NAA hypersonic research program that conducted 199 flights from 1959 to 1968. Three X-15 vehicles made flights with speeds of over 4,500 miles per hour (Mach 6.7) and some 355,000 feet in altitude. Twelve pilots performed these missions including NASA's Neil Armstrong before his astronaut selection in 1962.
WITH GORDON COOPER'S signed provenance note, reading in part: "A great group of pilots flew these X-15 missions that started with an air launch from a B-52 bomber. One of those pilots was Neil Armstrong who later joined our Astronaut Corps back in 1962. This flight program really pushed the envelope of high speed flight research and helped us understand what happens to vehicles from a thermal and aerodynamic view point. The data gathered helped in the design of the Space Shuttle. I often thought that if I was not selected in 1959 to become a NASA Astronaut that I would have wanted to get involved with the X-15 Program. Those guys were some of the best pilots I ever saw."