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He worked at Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory, then transferred to the High Speed Flight Station at Edwards Air Force Base in California, as a civilian aeronautical test research pilot, and gained his first taste of spaceflight at the controls of the X-15 rocket plane.On his way to the base in the Californian desert, he stopped off at a summer camp where Janet was working.
Four years later, his father took him for his first plane ride and, at the age of seven, Neil built the first of hundreds of model aeroplanes.
Once, when he was co-piloting a B-29 bomber from which a test rocket would be launched, a propeller broke away from one engine, cut an oil line in the neighbouring engine, severed flight control cables and embedded itself into the lower fuselage.
Armstrong and his companion coaxed the crippled plane back to base.
One of the leading influences in moulding his character was his mother, who lavished care and attention on her offspring and spent many hours reading and talking with her eldest son.
Her efforts were rewarded with Neil's rapid educational progress.