Bell X-1

Fandom Planet

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$149.95
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The Bell X-1 was a joint NACA-U.S. Army/US Air Force supersonic research project built by Bell Aircraft. It was the first aircraft to exceed the speed of sound in controlled, level flight, and was the first of the so-called X-planes, an American series of experimental aircraft designated for testing of new technologies and usually kept highly secret. In March 1945, the United States Army Air Forces' Flight Test Division and the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) (now NASA) contracted Bell Aircraft to build three XS-1 (later X-1) aircraft to obtain flight data on conditions in the transonic speed range. The X-1 was in principle a "bullet with wings", its shape closely resembled the Browning .50-caliber machine gun bullet that was known to be stable in supersonic flight. The pattern shape was followed to the point of seating the pilot behind a sloped, framed window inside a confined cockpit in the nose, with no ejection seat. The research techniques used in the X-1 program became the pattern for all subsequent X-craft projects. The NACA X-1 procedures and personnel also helped lay the foundation of America's space program in the 1960s. The X-1 project defined and solidified the post-war cooperative union between U.S. military needs, industrial capabilities, and research facilities.

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