The Bell X-1 was a rocket engine–powered aircraft, designated originally as the XS-1, supersonic research.
Bell Glamorous Glennis X-1
Design and development
The Bell X-1 was a rocket engine–powered aircraft, designated originally as the XS-1, and was a joint National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics–U.S. Army Air Forces–U.S. Air Force supersonic research project built by Bell Aircraft. Conceived during 1944 and designed and built in 1945, it achieved a speed of nearly 1,000 miles per hour (1,600 km/h; 870 kn) in 1948. A derivative of this same design, the Bell X-1A, having greater fuel capacity and hence longer rocket burning time, exceeded 1,600 miles per hour (2,600 km/h; 1,400 kn) in 1954. The X-1, piloted by Chuck Yeager, was the first manned airplane to exceed the speed of sound in level flight and was the first of the X-planes, a series of American experimental rocket planes (and non-rocket planes) designated for testing of new technologies and often kept secret.
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In 1942, the United Kingdom's Ministry of Aviation began a top secret project with Miles Aircraft to develop the world's first aircraft capable of breaking the sound barrier. The project resulted in the development of the prototype turbojet-powered Miles M.52, designed to reach 1,000 miles per hour (870 kn; 1,600 km/h) (over twice the existing airspeed record) in level flight, and to climb to an altitude of 36,000 ft (11 km) in 1 min 30 sec.
Bell X-1 Glamorous Glennis
The Bell X-1 was a rocket engine–powered aircraft, designated originally as the XS-1, and was a joint National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics–U.S. Army Air Forces–U.S. Air Force supersonic research project built by Bell Aircraft.
Bell Glamorous Glennis X-1
The first manned supersonic flight occurred on 14 October 1947, less than a month after the U.S. Air Force had been created as a separate service. Captain Charles "Chuck" Yeager piloted USAF aircraft #46-062, nicknamed Glamorous Glennis for his wife. The airplane was drop launched from the bomb bay of a B-29 and reached Mach 1.06 (700 miles per hour (1,100 km/h; 610 kn)). Following burnout of the engine, the plane glided to a landing on the dry lake bed. This was XS-1 flight number 50.
Bell X-1: See below
Role Experimental rocket plane
National origin United States
Manufacturer Bell Aircraft
First flight 19 January 1946
Primary users United States Air Force
National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
Number built 4
Length: 30 ft 11 in (9.4 m)
Wingspan: 28 ft (8.5 m)
Height: 10 ft (3.3 m)
Powerplant: one × Reaction Motors XLR-11-RM3 liquid-propellant rocket, 6,000 lbf
Performance; Maximum speed: 957 mph (Mach 1.26) (1,541 km/h)
Range: five minutes (powered endurance); Service ceiling: 71,902 ft (21,916 m)