The Extraordinary X-3

When the photographs of the Douglas X-3 came into our office we recalled the country bumpkin who, confronted with a giraffe for the first time, exclaimed "I don't believe it." We have watched the X-3 progress from the original project of 1947, through many variations, right up to this form - which is by no means final. And yet, prepared as we were, the knowledge that the X-3 has actually been built, and flown by a human pilot, comes as a shock and as an unpleasant reminder of this country's lack of attempts at research in comparable fields.

In our survey of the work of the Douglas D.558-2 Skyrocket we quoted the pilot principally concerned - Bill Bridgeman - as pleading for a "genuine" supersonic aircraft capable of keeping above Mach 1 for a time measured in minutes, not seconds. He asked for a true supersonic wing-section, adequate irreversible controls (and perhaps, a yaw damper) and an efficient cockpit-conditioning system.

Lockheed Missiles

Responsible for the design, development and production of pilotless aircraft and missiles, a new division has been established by Lockheed Aircraft. It will be headed by Elwood Quesada, a former Lieutenant General for the U.S.A.F., in charge of fighter forces in Europe and Africa during World War II. Robert Gross, the company's president, says that their work in the field of pilotless aircraft has "demonstrated such an exciting potential in the light of current military requirements" that they feel it must be speeded and expanded.

Pig-lift to Jugoslavia

Approximately one thousand pedigree pigs (total value some £50,000) are being flown from England to Jugoslavia by Eagle Aviation and Sabena. Following six trial flights in June of this year, on which a total of 120 pigs were carried by Eagle, the first flight of the major contract was made on November 20th by the same company. Two specially-equipped Dakotas are being used, and the route is Blackbushe-Munich-Belgrade (Zemun).

Sabena, also, is using Dakotas and flying from Blackbushe to carry out their pig-lift contract. The first such flight by the Belgian airline was scheduled for midnight on Monday last, and two flights were to be made each night for a fortnight.

The aim of the operations is to improve Jugoslav bacon production; the animals are picked from over 100 English farms, and moved to a special "transit farm" near Blackbushe, where weight details are listed and health documents checked before flights.

Source: Flight International