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Douglas X-3 Stiletto

The X-3 Stiletto was designed to test features thought to be capable of sustaining flight at supersonic speeds.  The only X-3 built first flew in 1952.

Unlike most of the other "X" aircraft which were carried to altitude by a mother ship, the Stiletto took off conventionally using three miles of runway.  The anticipated J46 engine did not materialize forcing the use of lower thrust engines.  This and higher than expected drag meant the X-3 could not exceeded Mach 1 in level flight.  Despite this, the Stiletto was not a failure as the test program was able to solve the problem of inertia-coupling.

Type: Experimental
Engine: two 3,370 lb (1528 kg) thrust Westinghouse J34-WE-17 or 4,900 lbs (2222 kg) thrust with afterburner
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page updated 13 February 2008



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Kenneth W Shanaberger 2000 - 2010