LLRV / LLTV

(Lunar Landing Research Vehicle / Lunar Landing Training Vehicle)

The Lunar Landing Training Vehicle (LLTV) was critical for Apollo astronauts to master the intricacies of landing on the Moon by simulating the Apollo Lunar Module’s performance. Dubbed the “flying bedstead”, the ungainly contraption is one of the unsung heroes of the Apollo program. The first LLTV arrived at Ellington Air Force Base October 9, 1967, with LLTV-2 and LLTV-3 arriving two months later, joining two earlier Lunar Landing Research Vehicles (LLRV’s). After extensive checkout, LLTV-1 made its first flight October 3, 1968, with Manned Spacecraft Center pilot Joe Algranti at the controls.

The LLRVs, humorously referred to as "flying bedsteads," were created by a predecessor of NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center to study and analyze piloting techniques needed to fly and land the tiny Apollo Lunar Module in the moon's airless environment. (Dryden was known as NASA's Flight Research Center from 1959 to 1976.)

Success of the LLRVs led to the building of three Lunar Landing Training Vehicles (LLTVs) used by Apollo astronauts at the Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, TX, predecessor of NASA's Johnson Space Center.

Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, — first human to step onto the moon's surface, —said the mission would not have been successful without the type of simulation that resulted from the LLRVs and LLTVs.

The two LLRVs were shipped from Bell to the FRC in April 1964, with program emphasis on vehicle No. 1. It was first readied for captured flight on a tilt table constructed at the FRC to test the engines without actually flying.

LLTV June 15, 1969, Neil Armstrong

MORE: