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D-558-2 launch from P2B-1S mothership

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The Douglas D-558-2 "Skyrockets" were among the early transonic research airplanes. Three of the single-seat, swept-wing aircraft flew from 1948 to 1956 in a joint program involving the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) - now known as NASA.

This 28-second video clip shows Scott Crossfield descending from the bomb bay of the P2B-1S into the cockpit of the D-558-2, strapping in, and having the hatch closed by a crewmember.

The Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket airplanes were among the early transonic research airplanes like the X-1, X-4, X-5, and XF-92A. Three of these single-seat, swept-wing aircraft flew from 1948 to 1956 in a joint program involving the NACA; the Navy-Marine Corps; and the Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, California. Flight research was done at the NACA Muroc Flight Test Unit in California, redesignated in 1949 the High-Speed Flight Research Station (HSFRS). The HSFRS is now known as the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, California. The Skyrocket made aviation history when it became the first airplane to fly twice the speed of sound.

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