Everyone knows about the Bell X-1 being the first aircraft to break the speed of sound. But do you know about the first aircraft to reach Mach 2?
This is that plane.
Originally, the plane had a Westinghouse jet engine and a Reaction Motors XLR-11 rocket. Deemed too heavy, the jet engine was removed. The XLR-11 was also the rocket used on the X-1.
Scott Crossfield (pictured, with the helmet) was the man who piloted the Skyrocket past 1,290mph (Mach 2) on November 20th, 1953, less than 20 years after the first jet aircraft flight.
Flown up to 30,000 feet under a P2B (Navy designation for a B-29), the Skyrocket would then climb past 70,000 feet to achieve top speed. Earlier in 1953, the plane flew to 83,235 feet but was not allowed to take the record of highest flying plane due to the fact it didn't take off under its own power.