A ramjet engine burns during a flight test for the P-61 in 1947.
Credit: Bill Bowles.
In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, the P-61 airplane pictured in flight test with ramjet burning. The P-61 aircraft was built by Nothrup and used by the Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory or AERL of the NACA to test the new jet engine.
The AERL is now NASA's John H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.
The National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) was a precursor to NASA. NACA was created by Congress in 1915.
Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).