The 10 Coolest Aircraft Neil Armstrong Ever Flew


Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Neil Armstrong, who passed away on Saturday, will be remembered most of all for his career as an astronaut and his history-making walk on the Moon in 1969.But his career began long before then: By the time he took the “giant leap for mankind,” Armstrong had been flying for two decades.

As a test pilot with the Navy and later NASA, he piloted more than 200 kinds of aircraft, among them the most advanced jets American engineers could roll out.

In these 10 aircraft, from the odd Paresev glider to the experimental X-15 rocket to the famed Apollo Lunar Module, Armstrong pushed the limits of altitude and speed reached by humans.

During the Korean War, Armstrong flew 78 combat missions in a Grumman F9F-2 Panther.

After the war, he served as a test pilot at the High Speed Flight Station, where he flew the North American F-100C.

The McDonnell F-101 Voodoo was an early supersonic jet.

So was the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, which the Air Force used from 1958 until 1969.

Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in the Bell X-1, Armstrong later flew the X-1B.

Armstrong was the pilot for the last flight in the program, using a Bell X-5.

The Paraglider Research Vehicle, or Paresev, used to study how to land spacecraft, inspired the sport of paragliding.

In the X-15 rocket plane, Armstrong reached 207,500 feet and Mach 5.74 (3,989 mph).

Piloting the Gemini 8, Armstrong was the first to dock two spacecraft while in orbit.

With Buzz Aldrin on board, Armstrong landed the Apollo Lunar Module on the Moon.

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