Transcript of the Tower Tape on October 14, 1947 as Bob Cardenas Pilots the B-29 Carrying the X-1
A special supplement to AVweb's profile of Bob Cardenas.
Cardenas: Muroc tower, Air Force Eight Zero Zero taxi instructions.
Tower: B-twenty-nine Eight Zero Zero cleared Runway six. Winds out of East seven miles an hour.
Cardenas: We cleared to roll?
Tower: Roger, cleared to line up and roll.
Swindell (B-29 flight Engineer): She's all yours, Major.
Cardenas: All right, Swindell?
B-29 left side scanner: Left gear full up, left flap full up. One and two[engines] look clean on the take-off, sir.
B-29 right side scanner: Right gear full up, right flap full up. Three and four look good on the take-off.
Cardenas: B-twenty-nine Eight Zero Zero to Muroc tower. How do you read me, over?
Tower: Loud and clear.
Swindell: Scanners from engineer, five thousand feet.
Yeager: Check list complete, everything okay.
Cardenas: B-twenty-nine Eight Zero Zero. Air Force Two Zero One. Hoover, are you guys on the way up?
Hoover: Yeah, boy.
Cardenas: Okay, we're just closing fifteen thousand feet. About twenty south of the lake[Rogers Dry Lake]. Making a right turn now and heading south.
Frost: You over El mirage [Dry Lake], Cardenas?
Cardenas: Coming to the southern end of the lake at sixteen thousand feet.
Frost: I'll be with you soon.
Hoover: Air Force Two Zero One, where are you B-twenty nine?
Cardenas: I am coming around—
Hoover: Okay, I see you now buddy; coming up to you.
Cardenas: Eight Zero Zero, five-minute warning.
Yeager: Okay, Cardenas, loading first stage now. Ridley? Clear to disconnect nitrogen hose and pilot's breathing oxygen?
Cardenas: Four minutes.
Yeager: Roger, Cardenas; pressurizing fuel tank.
Ridley: Nitrogen hose disconnected. Pilot's breathing oxygen disconnected.
Yeager: Roger, Jack.
NACA Muroc: NACA radar to Air Force Eight Zero Zero, how do you read?
Cardenas: Loud and clear. Three minutes.
Yeager: Pressurizing lox tank. All pressurized.
Frost: Yeager, this is Frost. I'm in position to check your jettison.
Yeager: Roger. Fuel jettison is on.
Frost: Fuel jettison okay.
Yeager: Switch off.
Frost: Shut-off okay.
Cardenas: Two minutes.
Yeager: Lox jettison switch on. Switch off.
Frost: Lox jettison and shut-off are okay.
NACA Muroc: Was that two minutes B-twenty-nine?
Cardenas: Roger, that was two minutes.
Tower: Muroc Air Force Base to all aircraft. All aircraft stay clear of Muroc Dry Lake area. Test in progress. All aricraft on ground return to parking positions. Repeat: all aircraft stay clear.
Cardenas: B-twenty-nine Eight Zero Zero to NACA radar, Muroc Tower, chase aircraft: one minute.
NACA Muroc: NACA radar to Air Force B-twenty-nine Eight Zero Zero. You are clear to drop.
Ridley: Yeager, this is Ridley. You all set?
Yeager: Hell, yes, let's get it over with.
Ridley: Remember those stabilizer settings.
Cardenas: Eight Zero Zero. Here is your countdown: 10—9—8—7—6—5—3—2—1—Drop
[Note: Cardenas omitted "4" in the drop count; launch occurred at 10:26am as the B-29 was flying at 20,000 feet and an indicated airspeed of 250mph].
Yeager: Firing four[rocket chamber #4]. . . Four fired okay. . . will fire two. . . Two on. . . will cut off Four. . . Four off. . . will fire Three. . . Three burning now. . . will shut off Two and fire One. . . One on. . . will fire Two again. . . Two on. . . will fire Four.
Ridley: How much of a drop[in chamber pressure]?
Yeager: About forty psi. . . got a rich mixture. . . chamber pressures down. . . now going up again. . . pressures all normal. . . will fire Three again. . . Three on. . . acceleration good. . . have had mild buffet. . . usual instability. Say, Ridley, make a note here. Elevator effectiveness regained[as he passed an indicated Mach number of 0.96].
Ridley: Roger. noted.
Yeager: Ridley! Make another note. There's something wrong with this Machmeter. Its gone screwy!
Ridley: If it is, we'll fix it. Personally, I think you're seeing things.
Yeager: I guess I am, Jack. . will shut down again. . . am shutting off. . . shut off. . . still going upstairs like a bat. . . have jettisoned fuel and lox. . . about thirty percent of each remaining. . . still going up. . . have shut off now.