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XB-70 Valkyrie

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The XB-70
Larger version (/upload/3/33/XB-70-in-flight.jpg)

The XB-70 was conceived for the Strategic Air Command in the 1950s as a high-altitude bomber that could fly three times the speed of sound (Mach 3). Because of funding limitations, only two were built, not as bombers, but as research aircraft for the advanced study of aerodynamics, propulsion, and other subjects related to large supersonic aircraft. The Valkyrie was built largely of stainless-steel honeycomb sandwich panels and titanium. It was designed to make use of a phenomenon called "compression lift," achieved when the shock wave generated by the airplane flying at supersonic speeds supports part of the airplane's weight. For improved stability at supersonic speeds, the Valkyrie could droop its wingtips as much as 65 degrees.


  • Span: 105 ft.
  • Length: 185 ft. 10 in. without boom; 192 ft. 2 in. with boom
  • Height: 30 ft. 9 in.
  • Weight: 534,700 lbs. loaded
  • Armament: None
  • Engines: Six General Electric YJ-93s of 30,000 lbs. thrust each with afterburner.


  • Maximum speed: 2,056 mph. (Mach 3.1) at 73,000 ft.
  • Cruising speed: 2,000 mph. (Mach 3.0) at 72,000 ft.
  • Range: 4,288 miles
  • Service Ceiling: 77,350 ft.

Contents of this page copied from USAF Museum web site [1] (http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/modern_flight/mf37.htm).

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

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