The Curator’s Choice 54

Big Supersonic Jets
Myasishchev M-50 – North American XB-70 – Aerospatiale/BAC Concorde

Last time we looked at the early days of aviation when the force of war created new advances in technology very quickly. This time I thought we’d move to the other extreme and look at the development of large jet powered aircraft capable of flying faster than the speed of sound. Many smaller aircraft, such as fighters, routinely exceed the speed of sound but not large aircraft. Perhaps this is because it is much more difficult to fly large aircraft so fast or perhaps it is because of the enormous financial cost of making large aircraft fly so fast. While all three aircraft we’re looking at could sustain very high speeds, none of them was a success and all now are museum pieces.

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