Global Aircraft
X-3 Stiletto
  Global Aircraft -- X-3 Stiletto

Photos Cropped From NASA DFRC

Webmaster's Notes
   The X-3 was developed under Secret Project MX-656 to investigate thermodynamics (aerodynamic heating) of an aircraft flying at least 30 minutes at double sonic speeds. There was only one Douglas X-3 aircraft ever made.

   The X-3 made its first flight on September 20, 1952. The X-3 made its first flight at Edwards AFB on October 20, 1952, with Douglas pilot Bill Bridgeman in the cockpit. The X-3 was powered by two afterburning 4,850lb thrust Westinghouse J34-WE-17 turbojet engines, although it was planned to have two afterburning 7,000lb thrust Westinghouse J46-WE-1 turbojets. Because the aircraft was severely underpowered, the aircraft could barely reach supersonic speeds unless it dove from a high altitude. The aircraft was retired after only 51 total flights.

   Although the aircraft never reached the speeds it was meant to, it contributed greatly to the development of high-speed aircraft. In 1956, the X-3 was put on display at the U.S. Air Force Museum.

Summary Copyright © 2001 Charles M (JetWhiz)

X-3 Specifications
Manufacturer: Douglas
First flight: Sept. 20, 1952
Wingspan: 22 feet 8 inches
Length: 66 feet 9 inches
Height: 12 feet 6 inches
Weight: 22,400 pounds (max.)
Power plant: Two 3,370-pound-thrust (4,900-pound-thrust with afterburner) Westinghouse J34s
Speed: 706 mph
Ceiling: 38,000 feet