Instead, Armstrong looked at the Dyna-Soar's engine and aerodynamics as a pilot's chief ally in escaping an exploding rocket. He figured that if the engine could ignite and launch the glider at the rate of 1,000 feet every 10 seconds, he could quickly launch to a safe height that would give him plenty of time to find the ground and pilot the Dyna-Soar to a safe landing. It was good in theory, but he had to find a way to test the method. To complicate things, in 1961 there weren't any Dyna-Soar's to fly.
So Armstrong started by finding a stand-in vehicle. He settled on the Douglas F5D Skylancer, which, when modified, had the equivalent aerodynamic qualities as the Dyna-Soar. Then he went to the program's planned launch site at Cape Canaveral to measure the lengths and distances of possible runways from the launch pad. He drew a sketch of the layout, took it back to Edwards Air Force Base, and reproduced his sketch on Rogers dry lakebed.
With a strip representing the runway and a square representing the launch pad, Armstrong got in the Skylancer and flew the launch abort profile he'd come up with.