|Designer||Schuyler Kleinhans, Baily Oswald and Francis Clauser|
|First flight||15 October 1952|
|Retired||23 May 1956|
|Status||Preserved at National Museum of the United States Air Force|
|Primary users||United States Air Force|
Douglas A2D Skyshark / Douglas McDonnell FH Banshee / McDonnell FH1 Phantom I /
Douglas A-4 Skyhawk / Douglas A-3 Skywarrior / Douglas F-4E Phantom II /
Douglas F3H Demon / Douglas B-66 Destroyer
Douglas F-101 Voodoo / Douglas X-3A Stiletto/ McDonnell AV-8B Harrier II Douglas F3D Skyknight
The Douglas X-3 Stiletto was a 1950s United States experimental jet aircraft with a slender fuselage and a long tapered nose, manufactured by the Douglas Aircraft Company. Its primary mission was to investigate the design features of an aircraft suitable for sustained supersonic speeds, which included the first use of titanium in major airframe components. Douglas designed the X-3 with the goal of a maximum speed of approximately 2,000 m.p.h, but it was seriously underpowered for this purpose and could not even exceed Mach 1 in level flight. Although the research aircraft was a disappointment, Lockheed designers used data from the X-3 tests for the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter which used a similar trapezoidal wing design in a successful Mach 2 fighter
The Douglas X-3 Stiletto was the sleekest of the early experimental aircraft, but its research accomplishments were not those originally planned. It was originally intended for advanced Mach 2 turbojet propulsion testing, but it fell largely into the category of configuration explorers, as its performance (due to inadequate engines) never met its original performance goals. The goal of the aircraft was ambitious—it was to take off from the ground under its own power, climb to high altitude, maintain a sustained cruise speed of Mach 2, then land under its own power. The aircraft was also to test the feasibility of low-aspect-ratio wings, and the large-scale use of titanium in aircraft structures. The design of the Douglas X-3 Stiletto is the subject of U.S. Design Patent #172,588 granted on July 13, 1954 to Frank N. Fleming and Harold T. Luskin and assigned to the Douglas Aircraft Company, Inc.
Two aircraft were ordered, but only one was built, completing 51 test flights.
Aircraft on display
The X-3 was transferred in 1956 to the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio As of 2008, it is on display in the Museum’s Research & Development Gallery.
You are definitely intrigued to discoverDouglas X-3 Stiletto (1952)
For the X-3, the roll coupling flight was the high point of its history. The aircraft was grounded for nearly a year after the flight, and never again explored its roll stability and control boundaries. Walker made another ten flights between 20 September 1955 and the last on 23 May 1956. The aircraft was subsequently retired to the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
Although the X-3 never met its intention of providing aerodynamic data in Mach 2 cruise, its short service was of value. It showed the dangers of roll inertia coupling, and provided early flight test data on the phenomenon. Its small, highly loaded unswept wing was used in the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, and it was one of the first aircraft to use titanium. Finally, the X-3’s very high takeoff and landing speeds required improvements in tire technology.
Length: 66 ft 9 in (20.35 m)
Wingspan: 22 ft 8 in (6.91 m)
Height: 12 ft 6 in (3.82 m)
Empty weight: 14,345 lb (6,507 kg)
Gross weight: 20,800 lb (9,435 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 22,400 lb (10,160 kg)
Powerplant: 2 × Westinghouse XJ34-WE-17 afterburning turbojets, 3,370 lbf (15.0 kN) thrust each dry, 4,900 lbf (22 kN) with afterburner
Maximum speed: 613.5 kn (706.0 mph, 1,136.2 km/h) at 20,000 ft (6,100 m)
Maximum speed: Mach 0.987
Range: 432 nmi (497 mi, 800 km)
Endurance: 1 hour at 512.7 kn (590.0 mph; 949.5 km/h)at 30,000 ft (9,100 m)
Service ceiling: 38,000 ft (12,000 m) absolute
Rate of climb: 19,000 ft/min (97 m/s)
Wing loading: 124.9 lb/sq ft (610 kg/m2)
The Douglas X-3 Stiletto was a 1950s United States experimental jet aircraft with a slender fuselage and a long tapered nose, manufactured by the Douglas Aircraft Company.
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