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Bell X-1

Bell X-1

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1 x 6,000 lbs.
30 ft. 11 in.
28 ft.
10 ft. 10 in.
7,000 lbs.
12,250 lbs.
957 mph
5 minutes
71,900 feet

The Bell X-1 was the first manned aircraft to go supersonic during level flight.

Chuck Yeager accomplished the feat on October 14, 1947.

The aircraft was originally designated Bell XS-1 (Experimental/Sonic).

It flew 157 times starting in 1947 and ending in 1951.

Flights of the Bell X-1 helped contributed a great deal to the understanding of the basics of supersonic flight. What was learned from the program helped in the development of future aircraft.

Carbon fibre composites are now commonly used to reduce aircraft weight while increasing strength. While aircraft had mechanical control linkages they now have fly-by-wire aided by computers.

So long as human pilots continue to fly aircraft, they will recognize the advances made due to programs like the X-1. However, some are predicting that the days of manned fighter aircraft are coming to an end. For now, however, the world continues to build more advanced manned aircraft.

Bell X-1
Mac Hodges and his Bell X-1.

Pictured above is Mac Hodges with the Bell X-1 airplane and mother ship.

The first picture below is the Mac Hodges Bell X-1 airplane under rocket engine power, just after launch.

The second picture below is of the Bell X-1 scratch built by Dan Nost. Wingspan is 36". Dan uses an Aerotech RMS 29/40-120 rocket engine for power.

The third picture below is of the Bell X-1 built by Steve Bage. It was built from modified Richard Crossley plans.  A Rapier L-2 engine powers it.

The bottom picture is of the Bell X-1 profile model built by Frank Burke.  Wingspan is 35" and length is 39". It is made from 6 mm Depron foam. Powering it is a Grayson 2208-08 motor turning a 5 x 4.1 propeller. It has an all up weight of 16.5 oz.

RC Groups has a very informative build thread for the Bell X-1 by Agriebil. You can find it in the pusher prop section. It is pictured on the bottom of this page.

Both RC Groups and RC Universe have posts by Cineas of pictures, information, and a link for those who can read Spanish, on the Bell X-1.

Bell X-1
Bell X-1 built by Mac Hodges.

Bell X-1
Bell X-1 built by Dan Nost.

Bell X-1
ell X-1 built by Steve Bage.

Bell X-1
Frank Burke launching his Bell X-1.

Bell X-1
Bell X-1 built by Agriebil.

Is there a Bell X-1 that you can recommend?  Email us.