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Scott Crossfield
A. Scott Crossfield in 1953, the year he flew at twice the speed of sound,
or Mach 2.

Scott Crossfield with D-558-2
Scott Crossfield poses in front of the D-558-2, its B-29 mothership, F-86 chase planes, and support crew

Douglas D-558-II launches from B-29
The Douglas D-558-II launches from its
B-29 mothership.




Everything She's Got by Mike Machat


On November 20th, 1953, Scott Crossfi
eld became the first man to reach twice the speed of sound.

Douglas D-558-ll Skyrocket
"Everything She's Got"
by Mike Machat
Signed by Pilot
Scott Crossfield
24 x 18 in., Limited Edition, Artist Proof, Signed by Artist, Signed by Pilot
Click Image to Enlarge

Aviation Art Print Skyrocket - Scott Crossfield - test pilot


Douglas D-558-ll Skyrocket "EVERYTHING SHE'S GOT" by Mike Machat

One of the lesser known of the high speed, high altitude, rocket-powered aircraft, the Skyrocket, or D-558-II was piloted by perhaps the most beloved and well known of all test pilots, Scott Crossfield. This aircraft was featured briefly in the movie "The Right Stuff" as future astronauts admired it flying overhead.

On the cold, blustery morning of November 20, 1953, a glistening white rocket-powered aircraft launched from its B-29 mothership and headed for a rendezvous with history. The Douglas D-558-ll. a joint effort of the Douglas Aircraft Company, U. S. Navy and National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (now NASA) was the workhorse of the research aircraft fleet and had set many speed and altitude records piloted by Douglas, Navy and Marine test pilots, and A. Scott Crossfield, who had made many flights in the craft. This, however, was an all-out effort to reach the absolute limit of its performance envelope and reach Mach 2.

NACA 144, the second of three Skyrockets built, had been speedily prepared for this flight with an extensive washing, waxing, taping and use of special procedures to improve fuel burn, endurance and thus, speed. Although Crossfield was suffering from the flu that morning he piloted the craft with total precision to a speed of Mach 2.005 and became the first man to reach twice the speed of sound. This painting depicts the dramatic 45 degree-deck angle as the D-558-11 accelerates and climbs to a peak altitude of 72,000 feet before nosing over for the speed run. It was A. Scott Crossfield himself who named this painting when he shared the story of the record run with artist Mike Machat, and said “That airplane gave everything she had to make the flight successful that day.” Artist Machat considers Crossfield to have been one of the finest gentlemen he’d ever met in aviation. .

Having made its last flight on December 20, 1956, NACA 144 is now proudly displayed at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D. C. The artist wishes to acknowledge the special efforts of A. Scott Crossfield, Harry Gann, Douglas Aircraft Company, and Drs. Richard P. Hallion and Jim Young Edwards Flight Test Center History Office, all of whom provided valuable research material essential to the complete accuracy of this painting.



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