Fairey F.D.2

The sleek and angular Fairey Delta 2 was the first aircrafl to exceed 1,000mph in  level flight. Designed by Herbert Chaplin of the Fairey Aviation Company, thee F.D.2 was created to meet a British government requirement for an experimental aeroplane to investigate transonic flight – flight at or near the speed of sound.
The F.D.2 was a tailless aircraft with a needle nose. The two intakes for its Rolls-Royce Avon afterburning turbojet were in the roots of its mid-set, slender delta wing, which had 60 degrees of sweep on its leading edge. Because the aircraft adopted a nose-high attitude on its landing approach, the pilot’s view at this critical stage was significantly
improved by having a nose that could be drooped by ten degrees. The first of the two F.D.2 .in built flew well from the outset. Test pilot Peter Twiss took it beyond Mach 1 on 28 October 1955, reaching Mach 1.56, and then suggested an attempt on the world speed record.
On 10 March 1956 he made two measured runs in opposite directions at 38,000ft, achieving a mean speed of 1.132mph (Mach 1,73). This was an extraordinary 38 per cent faster than the previous record, set by an American Super Sabre fighter only seven months earlier. The second F.D.2 was later used for aerodynamic research in the development of Concorde.

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