THIS PAPER is concerned with design problems which are encountered on manned aircraft operating at very high speeds. Very high speeds are considered to be from Mach 2 or 1300 mph to speeds of the order of Mach 38 or 25,000 mph, which is the velocity for escape from the earth. Mach 2 is considered a logical starting point since it represents the approximate upper limit of present day military aircraft.
Manned aircraft will continue to be developed for flight at very high speed and high altitudes and the experiences gained will serve as stepping stones to eventual manned satellites and space vehicles. The major problems to be solved relate to aerodynamic heating, stability and control, and human effects.
This paper received the 1958 Wright Brothers Medal.