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In 1997, the United States Postal Service issued a fiftieth anniversary commemorative stamp recognizing the Bell X1-6062 aircraft as the first aeronautical vehicle to fly at Later variants of the X-1 were built to test different aspects of supersonic flight; one of these, the X-1A, with Yeager at the controls, inadvertently demonstrated a very dangerous characteristic of fast (Mach 2 plus) supersonic flight: The aircraft was transferred to NACA during September 1954, and subsequently modified.

Early specifications for the aircraft were for a piloted supersonic vehicle that could fly at 800 miles per hour (1,300 km/h) at 35,000 feet (11,000 m) for two to five minutes.Following conversion of the X-1's horizontal tail to The rocket engine was a four-chamber design built by The Army Air Forces was unhappy with the cautious pace of flight envelope expansion and Bell Aircraft's flight test contract for airplane #46-062 was terminated. Check out Britannica's new site for parents!

that of sound.

Woolams completed nine more glide-flights over Pinecastle, with the B-29 dropping the aircraft at 29,000 feet (8,800 m) and the XS-1 landing 12 minutes later at about 110 miles per hour (180 km/h).

Exposed skin may be denuded, dehydrated, lacerated, and burned by the frictional forces of wind velocity against the body. Hemorrhages may occur in the eyes, sinuses, ears, lungs,…

This is why the first supersonic flight of the X-1 was so dramatic,and why the precise value of the speed of sound is so important in aerodynamics.

See Article History.

The X-1. The Backstory. Supersonic aircraft were developed in the second half of the twentieth century and have been used almost entirely for research and military purposes.

Bell Aircraft chief test pilot Jack Woolams became the first person to fly the XS-1.

They have fast rates of climb, great maneuverability, and heavy firepower, including air-to-air missiles. "Women in Flight Research at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center from 1946 to 1995," Made by the Ulmer Company.

In March 1946 the #1 rocket plane was returned to Bell Aircraft in Buffalo, New Yorkfor modifications to prepare for the powered flight tests.

The X-1 project assisted the postwar cooperative union between U.S. military needs, industrial capabilities, and research facilities.

Goodlin had demanded a US$150,000 bonus (equivalent to $1.72 million in 2019) for exceeding the speed of sound.The three main participants in the X-1 program won the The story of Yeager's 14 October flight was leaked to a reporter from the magazine On 5 January 1949, Yeager used Aircraft #46-062 to perform the only conventional (runway) launch of the X-1 program, attaining 23,000 ft (7,000 m) in 90 seconds.The research techniques used for the X-1 program became the pattern for all subsequent X-craft projects. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox.

Only two, Tupolev Tu-144 (first flight - December 31, 1968) and the Concorde (first flight - March 2, 1969), ever entered service for civil use as airliners.

The flight data collected by the NACA from the X-1 tests then proved invaluable to further US fighter design throughout the latter half of the 20th century.

For the past seven-plus decades, we’ve celebrated Chuck Yeager’s being the first human to fly faster than the speed of sound.

The first aircraft to fly at supersonic speeds was a Bell X-1 rocket-powered research plane piloted by Major Charles E. Yeager of the U.S. Air Force on October 14, 1947. British Aircraft Corporation and Aérospatiale of France built the airframe, which was powered by four Rolls-Royce/SNECMA engines.

Fighter jets are the most common example of supersonic aircraft. The Concorde made its first transatlantic crossing on September 26, 1973, and it inaugurated the world’s first scheduled supersonic passenger service on January 21, 1976— British Airways initially flying the aircraft from London to Bahrain and Air France flying … The feat we fete is his flight on October 14, 1947, in the Bell-X-1 rocket plane. Modern supersonic jet fighters can fly at more than 1,000 miles (1,600 km) per hour.

The X-1A was lost on 8 August 1955, when, while being prepared for launch from the RB-50 mothership, an explosion ruptured the plane's liquid oxygen tank.

Four more glid…

Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.The first aircraft to fly at supersonic speeds was a James R. Hansen, "First Man" p. 134

The physics of a subsonic flow is totally different fromthat of a supersonic flow —a contrast as striking as that between day andnight. Concorde supersonic passenger transport, which first flew in 1969 and entered commercial service in 1976.

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