Bell X-1A

  Base model:X-1
  Designation System:U.S. Air Force
  Designation Period:1948-Present
  Basic role:Research
  First Flew:1953/02/14
  See Also:

  Length: 35' 7" 10.8 m
  Height:10' 8" 3.2 m
  Wingspan: 28' 8.5 m
  Wingarea: 130.0 sq ft 12.0 sq m
  Empty Weight: 6,880 lb 3,120 kg
  Gross Weight: 16,487 lb 7,477 kg

  No. of Engines: 1
  Powerplant: Reaction Motors XLR11-RM5 4 chamber rocket
  Thrust (each): 6,000 lb 2,721 kg

  Max Speed: 1,650 mph 2,657 km/h 1,436 kt
  Ceiling: 90,000 ft 27,431 m

Known serial numbers


Recent comments by our visitors
 Guy E. Franklin
 Deatsville, AL
The Bell X-1A (photo) was a slightly larger, much-modified version of the first-generation X-1 and, the following month, on December 12, 1953, Maj. Chuck Yeager (photo) piloted the rocket plane to a speed of Mach 2.44 (1,650 mph) in level flight at an altitude of approximately 76,000 feet. As he attained top speed, however, the X-1A tumbled violently out of control. He was encountering something new--something aerodynamicists called "inertia coupling." The airplane tumbled violently--about all three axes--for more than 40,000 feet before Yeager was able to begin to recover to wings-level, stable flight. When landed safely on Rogers Dry Lake he was, once again, the "fastest human alive" but it was quite apparent that there were still many mysteries to be solved concerning supersonic flight. Nine months later, on August 26, 1954, Maj. Arthur "Kit" Murray (photo) flew the same aircraft to a new altitude record of 90,440 feet. On July 20, 1955, the X-1A was lost just before its first NACA test flight when it had to be jettisoned from the launch aircraft following an onboard explosion.

D-558-II Flight Test Program: three aircraft underwent testing at Muroc/Edwards AFB (2/4/48- 12/20/56). Pioneered high-speed sweptwing research at speeds up to Mach 2.

Airframe: Length = 42'; Wingspan = 25'; Launch wt (rocket engine only) = 15,787 lbs.

Powerplant (rocket-only): Reaction Motors XLR-8 rated at 6,000 lbs static thrust.

Max. Speed = Mach 2.005 (1,291 mph). Max. Altitude = 83,235 feet.

X-1A Flight Test Program: one aircraft underwent testing at Edwards AFB (7/24/51-7/20/55).

Airframe: Length = 35'8"; Wingspan = 28'0"; Launch wt = 16,487 lbs.

Powerplant: Reaction Motors XLR-8 rocket engine rated at 6,000 lbs static thrust.

Max. Speed = Mach 2.44 (1,650 mph). Max. Altitude = 90,440 feet.

09/08/2006 @ 09:13 [ref: 14102]


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