TYPE: High-speed research aircraft
ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only
POWER PLANT: One Allison J35-A-11 turbojet engine, rated at 2.240 kp
PERFORMANCE: 650 mph at sea level
COMMENT: The Douglas D-558-I “Skystreak” was a single-engine jet research aircraft. It was designed in 1944/45 by the Douglas Aircraft Company for the US Navy Bureau of Aeronautics, in conjunction with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautic (NACA). Three examples were built.
The D-558 program was conceived as a research program for transonic and supersonic flights. The “Skystreak” was powered by one Allison J35-A-11 engine, developed by General Electric as the TG-180 — one of the first axial-flow turbojet of American origin. It made its maiden flight on 14 April 1947, at Muroc Army Air Field . Less than 4 months later, on August 20, this aircraft set a new world speed record of 640.744 miles per hour (1,031.178 km/h) flying D-558-1, the very first air speed record that exceeded the unofficial mark of 1,004 km/h (623.8 mph) set by a WW II-era German Messerschmitt Me 163A V4 “Komet” rocket fighter prototype (Ref.: 24).