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Bell X-1

The Bell X-1 was designed for research in  transonic flight.  It's first powered flight was in 1946.  On October 14, 1947 Capt. Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in level flight.  The X-1 was carried aloft by a B-29 or B-50 and released.  The rocket engine then boosted the X-1 to speed and altitude.  The pilot glided the craft back to a landing.

First flown in 1953, the X-1A featured increased fuel capacity, a longer fuselage and a modified cockpit with improved visibility.

The X-1B was designed to investigate aerodynamic heating and reaction control systems.  First flown in 1954, it continued to be flown until 1958.

Type: Experimental
Engine: one 6,000 lb (2721 kg) thrust Reaction Motors XLR11-RM-6 rocket engine
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page updated 13 February 2008



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Kenneth W Shanaberger 2000 - 2010