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Douglas X-3 Stiletto

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Restoration staff move the Douglas X-3 Stiletto into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Nov. 5, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

Restoration staff move the Douglas X-3 Stiletto into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Nov. 5, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

Restoration staff move the Douglas X-3 Stiletto into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Nov. 5, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

Restoration staff move the Douglas X-3 Stiletto into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Nov. 5, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

Restoration staff move the Douglas X-3 Stiletto into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Nov. 5, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

Restoration staff move the Douglas X-3 Stiletto into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Nov. 5, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

Restoration staff move the Douglas X-3 Stiletto into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Nov. 5, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

Restoration staff move the Douglas X-3 Stiletto into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Nov. 5, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

Douglas X-3 Stiletto in the Research & Development Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on December 28, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Douglas X-3 Stiletto in the Research & Development Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on December 28, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Douglas X-3 Stiletto in the Research & Development Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Douglas X-3 Stiletto in the Research & Development Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

General view of the Research and Development Gallery in the museum's fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

General view of the Research and Development Gallery in the museum's fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 cockpit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 cockpit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 cockpit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 cockpit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 cockpit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 cockpit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The X-3’s fuselage was three times longer than the aircraft’s wingspan. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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The X-3’s fuselage was three times longer than the aircraft’s wingspan. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Unlike the X-1 and X-2, which were released in mid-air from carrier aircraft, the X-3 operated in a more conventional manner by taking off from the ground. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Unlike the X-1 and X-2, which were released in mid-air from carrier aircraft, the X-3 operated in a more conventional manner by taking off from the ground. (U.S. Air Force photo)


The twin-turbojet X-3, the only one built, was designed to test sustained flight at twice the speed of sound. It also explored the use of very short wings and titanium airframe construction.

Engine development difficulties forced the use of lower-powered engines than originally planned, prohibiting the X-3 from achieving its Mach 2 design potential. Even so, data gained from the X-3 program greatly benefited the F-104, X-15, SR-71 and other high performance aircraft.

The X-3 made its first test flight at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in October 1952. The X-3 was transferred to the museum in 1956.

TECHNICAL NOTES:
Engines: Two Westinghouse J34s of 3,370 lbs. thrust each (4,900 lbs. thrust with afterburner)
Maximum speed: 650 mph (level flight), but designed for Mach 2
Service ceiling: 38,000 feet
Wingspan: 22 feet, 8 inches
Length: 66 feet, 10 inches
Weight: 22,400 lbs. maximum

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North American X-15A-2
Lockheed F-104C Starfighter
Lockheed SR-71A
Westinghouse J34 Turbojet Engine
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View the X-3 on Display
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