Experimental Aircraft

    In the broadest sense of the term, every airplane begins as an experimental model.  Many are successfully flight tested, debugged and put into production. Except for the XP-59, this section includes airplanes that generally never went past the prototypes or into widespread production.  All are remarkable for the legend they left behind. .The aircraft in this section are historic.  For contemporary Experimental Planes, Click Here
Dornier Do-X - Enormous 12 engine seaplane that flew around the world
Spruce Goose - Howard Hughes' enormous seaplane.
D-558 Skystreak set a new world speed record of 640 mph in 1947  See notes below.
Bell X-2 - First airplane to fly three time speed of sound.
Douglas X-3  - used to test new materials and supersonic maneuvers
Northrop X-4 Bantam - tested semi-tailless aircraft at high subsonic speeds
Bell X-5 - First airplane to vary the sweepback of its wings in flight.
Northrop XB-49 Flying Wing - Design was resurrected 40 years later to become the B-2 Stealth Bomber.
Grumann XP-59A Airacomet - America's first jet-powered airplane
North American XB-70 Valkyrie - USAF Mach 3 Bomber.  
Convair XF-92  - First jet aircraft to fly using the radical delta-wing configuration
North American X-15 - Used to explore the edge of space.  Provided data for space shuttle design.

In our Milestones of Flights Collection, see

X-1 - First Airplane to break the sound barrier.
Douglas D-558-2 - First plane to fly twice the speed of sound

For contemporary Experimental Planes, Click Here.

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