DescriptionNeil Armstrong Signed Original X-15 Painting by Aviation Artist Raymond Waddey. This acrylic painting on a 24" x 18" canvas depicts the Air Force / NASA X-15A-2 plane in flight; "NASA 66671" is painted on the vertical stabilizer. It is signed both by the artist and the most famous of the pilots who flew this rocket-powered experimental aircraft, "Raymond Waddey '91" and "Neil Armstrong". Armstrong made seven flights in the X-15 between November 1960 and July 1962, including the third-ever fastest X-15 flight (3989 mph). As a research and test pilot, Armstrong flew more than 200 different planes including the experimental supersonic Bell X-1B and the sweep wing X-5. Paintings signed by Armstrong are rare and desirable and this one would be at home in any space or aviation collection. Excellent.
The particular X-15 aircraft shown in this painting can be viewed at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, Ohio. It was retired there in October 1969 after fifty-three powered flights between September 1959 and October 1967. Altogether, eight pilots earned their NASA astronaut wings while flying X-15s based on exceeding an altitude of fifty miles or more.
Raymond Waddey was born in Memphis, Tennessee on April 25, 1938. As a child he loved airplanes, attending airshows, watching them at the airport, and building models. He attended Central High School where he studied aviation history and lettered in football and track. After graduating in 1957, Waddey joined the Air Force hoping to become an artist but lacked the formal training. In 1980, he encountered a poorly-designed magazine cover and knew that he could do a better job of painting aircraft. He began selling his artwork, developed a following, and was soon invited to paint at the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. This gave him the opportunity to meet many famous pilots and hear them speak. His passion has been to create realistic in-flight paintings of various planes and then obtain the signature of a known pilot of that particular aircraft (Jimmy Doolittle and Chuck Yeager, for example) and get them to sign the actual painting. His artwork has been reproduced in numerous books, lithographic prints, and book and magazine covers. Currently, the Clarksville Regency Airport in Montgomery County, Tennessee, has a permanent exhibit of his original paintings.
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