Stunning NASA Photo of the SKYROCKET experimental aircraft


“D-558-2 is launched from the Navy P2B-1S (Navy designation for the B-29) in this 1950s photograph. The early Douglas and NACA flights of the D-558-2s used only the airplane’s jet engine and took off from the lakebed. This limited the aircraft’s altitude and speed. The solution was to convert the D-558-2 to rocket or combined jet-and-rocket propulsion and to airdrop it from a B-29 converted to the Navy’s P2B-1S configuration.”

(Photo courtesy of

This was a separate different program from the more famous X-1 craft which famed pilot Chuck Yeager used to break the sound barrier. But I found this photograph from the archives of NASA to be stunning.


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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: