Last Month’s Mystery Airplane

A mid-wing monoplane of unique proportions, the X-3 is truly the “shape of things to come” in high speed flight. It has short, straight wings set well back on a slender fuselage and an extemely long, tapered nose. The all-over view from above closely resembles the shape of a stiletto.

This design was selected after an investigation of 60 configurations to determine the one most suitable for sustained flight at extremely high speeds. The X-3 is powered by two axial flow turbojet engines and carries a powerful refrigeration system designed to protect the pilot, instruments and other internal equipment from blistering temperatures encountered at top speeds.

The “Flying Stiletto” has made valuable contributions toward solution of problems in the fields of aerodynamic design, aerodynamic heating, new materials and construction. It was first flown at Edwards Air Force base on October 20, 1952. Military restrictions prohibit disclosure of performance data obtained during numerous subsequent flights.

Dimensions: Span 22′ 8″ Length: 66′ 9″ Height: 12′ 6
Power Plants: (2) Turbo-Jets

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