Forty years ago today — April 17, 1969 — Air Force test pilot Jerauld R. Gentry flew the X-24 lifting body demonstrator on its first glide flight at the Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB, California. The X-24 program investigated the flight regime of unpowered vehicles returning from space, and provided important data for developing the Space Shuttle.
(NASA Image ECN-2006. Click to enlarge.)by