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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)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto cockpit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto cockpit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto cockpit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto cockpit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto cockpit(right side controls) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto cockpit(right side controls) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto cockpit(right side controls) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto cockpit(right side controls) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto cockpit(right side controls) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto cockpit(right side controls) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto cockpit(right side controls) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto cockpit(right side controls) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto cockpit(right side controls) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto cockpit(right side controls) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto cockpit(left side controls) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto cockpit(left side controls) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto cockpit(left side controls) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto cockpit(left side controls) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto cockpit(foot pedal controls) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto cockpit(foot pedal controls) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto pilot seat at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto pilot seat at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto pilot seat at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto pilot seat at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto pilot seat at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto pilot seat at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto pilot seat at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto pilot seat at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto pilot seat at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto pilot seat(rear view) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto pilot seat at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Douglas X-3 Stiletto pilot seat at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This aircraft is on display in the museum's Research & Development Gallery. (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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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

Click here to return to the Research & Development Gallery.

 

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