Aircraft - X-2 (U.S.A.)
The X-2 was designed to go over 100,000 ft. and
fly above Mach 3. It was the first plane
to go over Mach 3, but on that flight Milburn
"Mel" Apt lost control of the plane and he and
the plane were lost. The plane was
designed to test the problems associated with
high supersonic travel such as the severe
heating effects caused by aerodynamic friction.
"While the X-2 had
delivered valuable research data on high-speed
aerodynamic heat build-up and extreme
high-altitude flight conditions, this tragic
event terminated the program before the National
Advisory Committee for Aeronautics could
commence detailed flight research with the
airplane and the search for answers to many of
the riddles of high-Mach flight had to be
postponed until the arrival, three years later,
of the most ambitious of all the rocket planes
-- the X-15."
Specifications of the
November 18, 1955
Mission: Determine affects of supersonic
and subsonic speed on winged aircraft
Major Accomplishments: First aircraft to
exceed Mach 3, on flight which resulted in fatal
accident with pilot Captain Milburn Apt.
Power Source: One
(1) Curtiss-Wright XLR25-CW-1 rocket motor.
15,000 lb thrust (6,804 kb).
Wing Span: 32 ft. (9.75 m)
Length: 44 ft. (13.41 m)
Maximum Achieved Speed: Mach 3.196 (2,094