Created: 4/28/1964

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible


of World Record ol Aircraft Spoad byl

1. Thia memorandum la for tha Information of tha Diroctor of Central


o hie prase conference ooprilrepared preambulatory statement on the above subject, the Proaldent said:

"The world record for aircraft speed, currently bold by the Sovteta, has been repeatedly broken ia aecrecy by th* United States. The Preside at baa Instructed th* Department of Deleaae to damonatrate this capability with the procedure which, according to international rule a, will parmlt the result of the teat to be enteredew world record.

"Th* Soviet recordiles an hoar.l has already flown la encase ofllea an boar."

I. Since that time discussions have bean held with Mr. Clarence L. Johnson, designer of tho aircraft, eeparately by the undersigned and Col. Leo P. Oeary, USAF. Director. Program D, th* responsible officer forortion of the OXCART effort. Col. Oeary baa reported hla findings to Dr. Brockway McMillan, DNRO. Setting the world apeed record with the aircraft presents mime roue problems, some of which are Hated below.

a. ecord must be aot under th* auspices ol the red*ration Aeronaut!que International (FAIL with beadouarter* ia Parle, formal application to establishecord must be filed with then advance of any each attempt.epresentative of thia organisation la than instructed to work with the appropriate



military and/orrepreeentatWea to lay oat taa courae foran, aad to supervise tba Installation of appropriate flight recording Instruments In tba teat aircraft. Onceaatrumaata are las tallba teat aircraft must ba aaalad until after taa ran at which time tbaepresentative raaat be preaoat urban tba seals are broken and tba iaatrumaata ara removed. War* thia tba only problem It la folt that under propar aecurtty safeguards such aa Installation of teat equipment could ba accomplished.

b. Currantf th* FAI provid*ourae will be laid out oa tha groundilometers la length aad, further, that tha teatmuatotalpeed rune up-wind aad do-em-wind on thia raeaeured courae. The apeed record than eoaaieta of th* average apaad attained oa the total number of runs undertaken. Thia portion of tha rulee, of course, la archaic as far aa travaUlag at tat* mach number i* concerned since th*affect of tba wind would be negligible. However, th* requirementotalan* becomes meaningful whan we look at auch factors a* th* amount of time that must b* apant atn order to accompltah these runs.

ha narrowest turning radiu* of tha aircraft at machith tha maximumangle of bank, andaautical ratlee. Applyingank angle at this speed, It takes5 minutee to complete aturn. arn would be required at each *nd of th* elliptical race courae needed for the speed record. Assuming that tha minimum ofa addition to tha basiclosed courae, would ba required for the aircraft to coma out of It* turn and atralgbtoa up. It wouldotalo complete one circuit of th*vanlbaral Interpretation of tha rulee permitted th*atabllenmont of the up or down wind portion of th* run on th* back leg of thaIt wouldinimuminutes to complete tba apaad taeta, all of which would have to ho flown atr tharaabouta. In view of tha present maximum aaatainad apaad oforinutes, it appears that we ar* some dlataaco away from being able to fly that faat forong time.

age 3

C. Al tha) present tim* tha Interceptor aircraft ara restricted to5 mach. aiaca thay have not boon retro-fitted with tha new "onion allcar" ln-lat configuration to counter the angina-out problem, and tho faataatl haa goaa to unto4 macht. Tho optimum altitude for establtehtngach In auamined flight lo In the altitude brackett. Until tha engineering modifications to tha air frame are completed, and until the installation tn July of thaK.ngines now installed) the high mach numbers at high altitudes are beyond the reach ofl which, of course, Is an aircraft more encumbered with drag because of Ita configuration than Is

view of the kind of fact* which are sketched above, theseveral weeks ago that no attempt should be made bya record of at leaor hour until4 or later,earliest. Col. Geary, acting for Dr. McMillan, aa advised

Mr. Johnson who reported this fact to us last week,

Mr. Johnson himself fool* that tham*,flown by an aircraft at at0 ft.all nighequation, and Ma own preference would b* toif FAI couldporauaded to lengthen the course by somethingactor of four. that In view of the restriction of the FAI rule requiring theto be sativen altitude, plus or minuseet, thatbe almost Impossible to control tha aire raft with tMa degree ofthrough aa many turns as would be needed tootal of 6ts alao concerned about th* adequacy of FAI Instrumentation whichaa "modestly archaic,4hole newaopbiaticated instrument* have bad to be developed in order to keepthis aircraft in the upper altitude range* In the area*t. Itview that taa whole subject of setting the world speed record within the manner suggested by tb* President, require*and tim* on the part of both the Department of Defense andof tha weapons system, Mr. Johnson.

JAMES A. CUNNINGHAM, JR. Deputy Assistant Director (Special Activities)















Original document.

Comment about this article or add new information about this topic: