MEMORANDUM FOR: Director of Central Intelligence
of Usingor Speed
You have askedo examine the possibility of using OXCARToorld's speed record, ln lieu of tbe recently cancelled use of tbe interceptor version, and to estimate the impact oftilization on our priority program to establish an early operational capability atSKYLARK) with the basic OXCART reconnaissance version. Our conclusion is that it is not wise toor this purpose at thle time for the following reasons.
We reckon that the speed trial wouldut of our flight test program for three to four weeks. This representsoost flight tests wblch are valuable in an ancillary reliability and repeatability support role In qualifying the operational vehicles for sustainedlight and theapability.
Becausenique aircraft, in terras of its tost instrumentation, we are frankly apprehensive about committing itlying program which is not essential to establishing; the over-all OXCART capability. Although we cannot say that flyingpeed trial Is riskier than making the requisite flight tests for OXCART, we would be liable to severe criticismere to be lost while attemptingecordime when it waa uniquely important to our major goal.
We have reluctantly gone along with thel andurfacing in the hope that the public story would start with these two seater aircraft, leaving us the
ty of keeping; theingle place planesumwwMjm^KMMrr'j wo now enter one of the genuine OaCARi alruJlUlpeed run, it will be easily recognised as distinct (see below) and as an additional aircraft to three now at Edwards. The whole question of its source and companions will then arise, stripping off both our residual security and labeling the DOD claimew aircraft development for what it really ie.
5. There are firm requirements for certifying a
W2rJ?Thlch wlu ^arantee the disclosure of the OXCART technical featuresay that we find unacceptable. These trials are conducted by tbe Federation Aeronautlque Internationale (FAI) in Paris working through the. National Aeronautic Association (NAA). However, lt is possible that foreign nationals could and would insist on taking part inest. Specifically, the FAX/NAA representatives must:
the aircraft on behalf ofand report to them.
the takeoff and landing.
the photo panel and/orused for test purposes.
positive radar and opticalthe test runs.
All in all, we will retain very little security for OXCART as an operational vehicle if we sign up for this event.
6. If we are to establish an OXCART operational reconnaissance capability with as much security as is left to us now as coon as possible, we must oppose the use ofor this purpose.
(Signed) Jack C. Ledford
cc: DDCIOriginal document.