The new X-2 had blistering performance and on 7 September of 1956, Capt. Ivan Kicheloe became the first pilot to exceed 100,000ft, reaching a world record 126,200ft. The other test pilot, Capt. Mel Apt became the first pilot in history to exceed Mach 3, flying to an astonishing Mach 3.2 on 27 September of that year. Unfortunately, Mel lost control during a maneuver and was tragically killed.
Captain Milburn 'Mel' Apt, first man to Mach 3.