My recent conversation with uhoh reminded me of something which stays kind of unmentioned in history of air and space flight, namely the altitude record prior to Gagarin's Vostok 1 mission. I wonder what the highest human flight had been before the first spaceflight occured. There's a Wikipedia list on (airplane, helicopter and balloon) flight altitude records: Flight altitude record, which but is quite muddled up. From the list I conclude that Iven Kincheloe's Bell X-2 flight on Sept 7, 1956 was the altitude record until Vostok 1, Kincheloe having reached an altitude of ~126,300 ft (~ 38,5 km). Am I right and why does it remain so unmentioned, somehow? I mean like it was the highest flight until Vostok 1 and the highest airplane flight until the ones of the X-15.