Today in History – January 5, 1949 – Chuck Yeager takes the Bell off the runway

5 January 1949 – Chuck Yeager in a Bell X-1 carried out the only conventional take-off on a runway performed during the X-1 program. Yeager reached 23,000 ft (7,000 m) in 90 seconds.

The Bell X-1 (Bell Model 44) is 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.[1]

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) designed for testing new technologies. (1)

Source: (1) Wikipedia

Scroll to Top