Up Close with the Supersonic Bell X-1

  • On October 14, 1947, the Bell X-1 became the first airplane to fly faster than the speed of sound, reaching a speed of 1,127 kilometers (700 miles) per hour, Mach 1.06, at an altitude of 13,000 meters (43,000 feet).

Slide inside the cockpit with this gallery of the famous “Glamorous Glennis” Bell X-1 rocket plane that first broke the sound barrier.

Most of us are familiar with the bright orange, bullet-shaped Bell X-1 rocketship that legendary test pilot Chuck Yeager used to break the sound barrier for the first time on Oct. 14, 1947. Some of us may recall seeing the flight re-enacted in the fantastic film, “The Right Stuff,” which seems to be a mostly accurate portrayal of the event.

But the Bell X-1 that Yeager flew has hung from the rafters of the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum since it opened in 1976, so we couldn’t see many of the plane’s details up close.

Fortunately, Smithsonian has helped bring us closer to the famous plane by releasing photos for us to enjoy.

Source: https://www.designnews.com/industry/close-and-personal-supersonic-bell-x-1-rocket-plane



  1. Related story would be of Brig Gen Frank Kendal Everest Jr. Who flew some of the Bell x series to just under mach 3. I was his administrative officer when as a My. Col. he was Commander of the 461st Fighter Squadron at Hahn AFB Germany in1957-58.


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