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By J. W. Lyle Jr.

Plane layout 1 (1998) 51—60

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It was finally determined that too-thick paint caused by several re-paintings (in order to impress various VIPs) was being cracked as the Valkyrie flexed in flight, and was then torn away by the airstream. During her winter stay at Plant 42, A/V-1 was stripped and repainted with a single thin coat of white paint. A major exterior change was that the bottom fuselage around the engines was now painted white instead of being left natural titanium finish as it had been for the first four flights. Structural testing completed satisfactorily, Phase Two testing began on 16 February 1965, when Al White and Joe Cotton took the Valkyrie on its fifth flight.

Not a good day. During the 12th flight on 7 May 1965 the horizontal splitter broke off of A/V-1 and was ingested by the engines. Although the aircraft landed without major incident, all six engines were beyond repair. (AFFTC History Office Collection) NORTH AMERICAN IB-10A 'ALIIRlIE 47 from a "dihedral effect" where sideslip caused one wing to drop. The pilot, sensing the low wing but not spotting the sideslip, would use the elevons to bring the wing back up - causing more sideslip, forcing the wing to drop lower.

Note the access ladder to the cockpit. WARBIRDTECH -i_ _ ow The 37th flight of AjV-2 also had some excitement with the landing gear. It started with the nose gear impacting the gear door (above), resulting in multiple failures that made it impossible to lower the nose gear. Eventually, Joe Cotton shorted a circuit breaker with a paperclip. Unfortunately, three of the four main gear brakes remained engaged as the aircraft touched down, resulting in a fire during rollout. Damage was minimal. (Tony Landis Collection) NORTH AMERICAN D-10A lnnmE 55 vented any serious damage to the aircraft, which flew again a little over two weeks later.

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