NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Supersonic research aircraft. Bell X-1 aircraft (white) used in supersonic aircraft research, with its B-29 launch aircraft. The X-1 rocket-powered aeroplane was the same design as the first supersonic aircraft flown by Charles "Chuck" Yeager on 14 October 1947. However, the aircraft seen here was modified in 1950 to a X-1E design which featured a low-pressure fuel system, thinner wings and a pilot ejection system. The X-1E was used during 1955-58 to study stability and control characteristics at high altitudes and high speeds. The similar Bell X-1A and X-1B aircraft were used in the same research. The X-1E aircraft is now on display at NASA's Dryden site, USA.
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