Douglas D-558-2

Publisher/Studio:
Douglas Aircraft Co.

Piloted by A. Scott Crossfield, on November 20, 1953, the Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket became the first aircraft to fly faster than Mach 2, twice the speed of sound. Air-launched from a U.S. Navy Boeing P2B-1S (B-29) the swept-wing, rocket-powered D-558-2 reached Mach 2.005 in a shallow dive at 18,898 meters (62,000 feet).

The D-558 series of aircraft was developed by Douglas under the direction of Edward H. Heinemann for the U.S. Navy to explore transonic and supersonic flight. The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA, the predecessor to NASA), used this Skyrocket, the second one built, to explore the flight characteristics of swept-wing aircraft. It set several other speed and altitude records before the program ended in 1956.

Description (physical):

White, US Navy, single-seat, rocket-powered supersonic aircraft. Material: Aluminum. H: 3.9m, W: 7.6m, L: 12.8m, Wt: 9421lbs., Top Speed: 2078km/hr.

Location:
Independence Ave at 6th Street, SW Washington,District of Columbia 20560
Identifier:
A19610108000CP11
Institution:
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum