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In 1957 the single-spool J93 turbojet engine placed under the intensive development at General Electric, intended to power the the XB-70 "Valkyrie" Mach 3 bomber and the XF-108 "Rapier" Mach 3 fighter.

The XB-70A Valkyrie. was the largest experimental aircraft, measuring 190 feet in length, with a wing span of 105 feet and standing 33 feet in height. The aircraft had a delta wing and hinged wing tip that could be folded down to a 65 degree angle to improve stability at the aircraft's supersonic speeds of up to Mach 3. The propulsion system consisted of six General Electric turbojet engines (J93-GE 3) with two large rectangular inlet ducts providing two-dimensional airflow. The XB-70A program produced a significant quantity of information about supersonic flight up to Mach 3 speeds.

Termination on 24 September 1959 of the North American F-108 Rapier, a never-flown long-range interceptor under letter contract since 1957, was another blow. The B-70 program was directly affected. It would now be compelled to finance, at least partially, such development items as engines, escape capsules, and fuel systems that had been common to both aircraft systems and previously covered by F-108 funds.

One YB-58A (S/N 55-662) was used for flight testing the General Electric J93 turbojet engine and redesignated NB-58A. The J93 engine was housed in a specially built pod and mounted on the B-58 in place of the normal external pod. The flight testing was done in support of two North American development programs: the XB-70 "Valkyrie" Mach 3 bomber and the XF-108 "Rapier" Mach 3 fighter program.

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One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias

Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:37:16 ZULU