Photo of the XB-70 #1 cockpit, which shows the complexity of this mid-1960s research aircraft. On the left and right sides of the picture are the pilot's and co-pilot's control yokes. Forward of these, on the cockpit floor, are the rudder pedals with the NAA (North American Aviation) trademark. Between them is the center console. Visible are the six throttles for the XB-70's jet engines. Above this is the center instrument panel. The bottom panel has the wing tip fold, landing gear, and flap controls, as well as the hydraulic pressure gages. In the center are three rows of engine gages. The top row are tachometers, the second are exhaust temperature gages, and the bottom row are exhaust nozzle position indicators. Above these are the engine fire and engine brake switches. The instrument panels for the pilot (left) and co-pilot (right) differ somewhat. Both crewmen have an airspeed/Mach indicator, and altitude/vertical velocity indicator, an artificial horizon, and a heading indicator/compass directly in front of them. The pilot's flight instruments, from top to bottom, are total heat gage and crew warning lights; stand-by flight instruments (side-slip, artificial horizon, and altitude); the engine vibration indicators; cabin altitude, ammonia, and water quantity gages, the electronic compartment air temperature gage, and the liquid oxygen quantity gage. At the bottom are the switches for the flight displays and environmental controls. On the co-pilot's panel, the top three rows are for the engine inlet controls. Below this is the fuel tank sequence indicator, which shows the amount of fuel in each tank. The bottom row consists of the fuel pump switches, which were used to shift fuel to maintain the proper center of gravity. Just to the right are the indicators for the total fuel (top) and the individual tanks (bottom). Visible on the right edge of the photo are the refueling valves, while above these are switches for the flight data recording instruments. The XB-70 was the world's largest experimental aircraft. It was capable of flight at speeds of three times the speed of sound (roughly 2,000 miles per hour) at altitudes of 70,000 feet. It was used to collect in-flight information for use in the design of future supersonic aircraft, military and civilian. The major objectives of the XB-70 flight research program were to study the airplane's stability and handling characteristics, to evaluate its response to atmospheric turbulence, and to determine the aerodynamic and propulsion performance. In addition there were secondary objectives to measure the noise and friction associated with airflow over the airplane and to determine the levels and extent of the engine noise during takeoff, landing, and ground operations. The XB-70 was about 186 feet long, 33 feet high, with a wingspan of 105 feet. Originally conceived as an advanced bomber for the United States Air Force, the XB-70 was limited to production of two aircraft when it was decided to limit the aircraft's mission to flight research. The first flight of the XB-70 was made on Sept. 21, 1964. The number two XB-70 was destroyed in a mid-air collision on June 8, 1966. Program management of the NASA-USAF research effort was assigned to NASA in March 1967. The final flight was flown on Feb. 4, 1969. Designed by North American Aviation (later North American Rockwell and still later, a division of Boeing) the XB-70 had a long fuselage with a canard or horizontal stabilizer mounted just behind the crew compartment. It had a sharply swept 65.6-percent delta wing. The outer portion of the wing could be folded down in flight to provide greater lateral-directional stability. The airplane had two windshields. A moveable outer windshield was raised for high-speed flight to reduce drag and lowered for greater visibility during takeoff and landing. The forward fuselage was constructed of riveted titanium frames and skin. The remainder of the airplane was constructed almost entirely of stainless steel. The skin was a brazed stainless-steel honeycomb material. Six General Electric YJ93-3 turbojet engines, each in the 30,000-pound-thrust class, powered the XB-70. Internal geometry of the inlets was controllable to maintain the most efficient airflow to the engines.