I remember a number of the X-plane programs, from the X-15 through the X-47.
One in particular that sticks in my mind was the X-33 VentureStar that was supposed to bring us closer to Single Stage To Orbit (SSTO) spacecraft that would eliminate the need for the cumbersome booster systems we've used (and still use) to get cargo and personnel into orbit.
One of the cool features of the X-33 was the Aerospike engine, a revolutionary propulsion system that was supposed to make SSTO possible.
The propulsion system worked, and worked like a champ.
Feature creep and politics doomed the X-33, leaving the Aerospike engine without a home. Maybe someone, somewhere can find a use for this propulsion system and get us one step closer to a Single Stage To Orbit space plane.