North American Aviation XB-70A (62-0207)
The XB-70 Valkyrie was originally designed as a strategic bomber capable of traveling to its target at Mach 3, and delivering nuclear or conventional weapons. After a succession of policy changes, it was decided in 1963 to build only two of them for research. The XB-70 was the world's largest experimental aircraft. Capable of flight at 2,000 miles per hour and altitudes of 70,000 feet, it was used to collect flight test data for use in the design of future military and civilian supersonic aircraft.
The number two XB-70A (62-0207), AV-2, made its first flight from Palmdale, California on 17 July 1965. The crew consisted of Al White and Col. Joseph F. Cotton. The same crew took AV-2 up to Mach 3.05 at 72,000 feet on 3 January 1966 on its 17th flight. They maintained full speed for 32 minutes, covering eight states. The highest flight of the entire XB-70 program occurred on 19 March 1966. Al White and Van Shepard took AV-2 to 74,000 feet. The fastest speed achieved during the program, also in AV-2, was Mach 3.08 on 12 April 1966. The number two XB-70A made 46 flights for a total of 92.28 flight hours.