Jets45 Histories

Douglas D-558-1"Skystreak"

    Experimental aircraft
The Douglas Skystreak in January 1947

    Engine: 1x Allison J-35 turbojet.
    Wing Span: 25'
    Length: 25'
    Height: 12'
    Weight: Loaded 9,750 lb
    Maximum Speed: 650 mph
    Crew: 1
    Armament: None


The D-558-1 was designed in 1944/45 and built for the US Navy to explore aircraft handling and obtaining high speed measurements not obtainable in existing wind tunnels at the time in the USA. The first aircraft was completed in January 1947 with the first flight being on 28/4/1947, altogether three D-558-1 were made, with the second aircraft (37.971) being lost on the 3/4/1948 killing the pilot Howard Lilly.

After the fist aircraft was completed a number of changes were made the most notable being the replacement canopy An attempt on the World Speed Record was made on the 20/9/1947, with a averaged speed of 640.6 mph.

The D-558-1 (note different canopy)
The D-558-II in it's original configuration late 1947

The D-558-II Skyrocket was the follow up design to the Skysteak, with all the design work on the Skyrocket being done by the end of 1945, even before the D-558-1 had took to the air! Powered by a Westinghouse J34-W-40 axial-flow turbojet engine with 3,000 lb of thrust and a Reaction Motors XLR-8-RM-5 rocket engines making 6,000 lb of thrust.

The first flight was on the 4/2/1948, powered by the Westinghouse engine alone as the rocket motor was not ready in time.

A number of changes were made after the first test flights including a new raised canopy and larger tailfin also the jet engine was removed to make way for more fuel for the rocket motor.

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