X-15 X15

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Pesky Gremlins Comic Backgrounds: X-15

Backgrounds: X-15

The North American X-15 has to be one of the most inspiring aircraft ever built.  Designed and built at the end of the 1950’s it still hold many records for both speed and altitude.  This aircraft hit Mach 6.72 or 4,520 mph. 

I put a little more time into drawing and coloring the X-15 than I do with the normal backgrounds.  I typically limit myself to no more than 2 hours to draw and color something like a Jaguar or a Corvette.  This is because I could have several of these backgrounds and if I spent more than 2 hours on a single background, I could easily start missing my (admittedly self imposed) schedule.  Even though I spent the better part of a day on this drawing, I STILL ran out of time.  I had wanted to add some more details like rivets and stenciling and of course there was some more shading to do.

X-15 X15 illustration

Of course the gremlins were excited about the X-15.  Snafu hitched a ride on the tail of the X-15 in hopes of being the first gremlin to travel at Mach 6+.

Snafu x15

Like Snafu, the X-15 always hitched a ride from a “mother ship”.   Due to its limited fuel capacity, the X-15 was carried to launch altitude by a specially modified B-52.  You can see the mother ship in the drawing but its very small.  So here it is a little larger.

Boeing B-52 B52

Predictably, Snafu never made it to Mach 6.  In fact, he barely made it to the end of the runway.  The B-52 hit a little turbulence on the way up and… well see for yourself:



6 thoughts on “Pesky Gremlins Comic Backgrounds: X-15

  1. Very nice drawing. I wouldn’t have minded taking on the X-15 myself!

  2. From the design, I wonder if it inspired the space shuttle decades later…

    1. From what little I have read, I think the answer is yes. Among many other technical achievements, the dual control system that operated both in the atmosphere and in the vacuum of space was pioneered in the X-15.

  3. Stunningl!

    1. Thank you, David. 🙂

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