US Air Force supersonic plane hit 50% faster speeds than Concorde

  • It could fly at a maximum speed of Mach 3.08
  • The plane took its first flight 60 years ago
  • Only two prototypes were ever made

Published on Mar 19, 2024 at 4:57 PM (UTC+4)
by Nalin Rawat

Last updated on Mar 21, 2024 at 1:52 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Alessandro Renesis

Five years before Concorde took flight for the first time, it was the XB-70 Valkyrie supersonic plane that kicked off a golden era for Mach speed aircraft.

The XB-70 Valkyrie was an experimental plane developed by North American Aviation for the US Air Force.

The supersonic plane took its first flight 60 years ago in September 1964.

READ MORE! Top secret fastest plane ever SR-72 “Son of Blackbird” capable of 4000mph speeds reportedly set to debut

Compared to the Concorde, the XB-70 Valkyrie was able to achieve nearly 50% faster speed at 2,020 mph.

Even the overall design of the supersonic plane was a thing of beauty.

To think such an impressive aircraft was built over 65 years ago is hard to comprehend.

However, the XB-70 Valkyrie had an even shorter life span than the Concorde, which made its last commercial flight more than 20 years ago.

The US Air Force XB-70 program was filled with problems, even with the aircraft’s speed and altitude capabilities.

The supersonic plane was developed as a supersonic deep-penetration strategic nuclear bomber.

However, the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles essentially led to its cancellation in 1961.

Fortunately, two prototype XB-70s were built to study the effects of long-duration high-speed flight.

These aircraft were used for supersonic test flights from 1964 to 1969.

Unfortunately, the XB-70 Valkyrie came out in the same era as the SR-71 Blackbird, the fastest plane in the world.

The supersonic plane was dead on arrival and overshadowed by the iconic Cold War-era supersonic jet.

Speaking of the SR-71, it seems that the aircraft’s legacy will be carried on by its successor, the SR-72 “Son of Blackbird”.

Commercial supersonic planes also seem to be making a return with many airline manufacturers working on their own designs.

Even NASA seems to be working on its own quiet supersonic plane that produces no sonic boom.


Nalin Rawat

Nalin started his career by working with various national newspapers in India. He has also worked as a writer/editor for many popular websites, while still pursuing his journalism and mass communication degree. Working as a digital nomad has allowed him to inform and educate through his work. When he is not writing, you can find him playing video games or travelling the mountains on his bike.