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Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket on runway.

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The first plane to reach Mach 2, or twice the speed of sound, was the Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket. Civilian test pilot Scott Crossfield was at the controls of the rocket plane when the next supersonic milestone after Mach 1 was reached on Nov. 20, 1953. National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) engineers designed the aircraft to test the handling characteristics of a swept wing aircraft at transonic and supersonic speeds.

Image Credit: NASA

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