Encyclopedia Astronautica
X-1A



x1a.jpg
X-1A
Credit: NASA
American manned rocketplane. Study 1951. The X-1A, B, and D were essentially identical rocketplanes intended to reach speeds above Mach 2.

The X-1A and X-1D were destroyed in in-flight explosions; the X-1B survived, training future moon lander Neil Armstrong on its last flights in 1958.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • XLR11 Reaction Motors, Thiokol Lox/Alcohol rocket engine. Out of Production. Launch thrust 26.67 kN. Rocket engine developed for X-1 in 1940s to break the sound barrier and used twenty years later to power experimental lifting bodies. Four combustion chambers. More...

See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Bell American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. ARC Liquid Propellant Division, Niagara Falls, NY, USA. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Lox/Alcohol Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Alcohol (C2H5OH) was the fuel used for the German V-2 rocket, and the first derivative rocket engines in the United States, Soviet Union, and China used it as well. Better performance was achieved by increasing the alcohol concentration in the post-war engines. But after better-performance rocket-grade kerosene was developed by Rocketdyne in the REAP program of 1953, use of alcohol was abandoned. More...

Bibliography
  • Miller, Ron, The Dream Machines, Krieger, Malabar, Florida, 1993.
  • Zhelyez x-plane book,
  • NASA Report, NASA Factsheet FS-085-DFRC X-1, First Generation, Web Address when accessed: here.

X-1A Chronology


1953 February 14 - .
  • X-1A Flight 2 - . Crew: Ziegler. Payload: X-1A flight 2. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Ziegler. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: Bell flight 2. Planned as powered flight, but completed as glide flight following propellant-system difficulties..

1953 February 14 - .
  • X-1A Flight 1 - . Crew: Ziegler. Payload: X-1A flight 1. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Ziegler. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: Bell flight 1. Pilot familiarization. Fuel jettison test. Glide flight only..

1953 February 21 - .
  • X-1A Flight 3 - . Crew: Ziegler. Payload: X-1A flight 3. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Ziegler. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: Bell flight 3. First powered flight. False fire warning..

1953 March 26 - .
  • X-1A Flight 4 - . Crew: Ziegler. Payload: X-1A flight 4. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Ziegler. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: Bell flight 4. Plane demonstrated successful 4-cylinder engine operation..

1953 April 10 - .
  • X-1A Flight 5 - . Crew: Ziegler. Payload: X-1A flight 5. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Ziegler. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: Bell flight 5. Pilot noted low-frequency elevator buzz at mach 0.93, did not proceed above this speed, pending buzz investigation..

1953 April 25 - .
  • X-1A Flight 6 - . Crew: Ziegler. Payload: X-1A flight 6. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Ziegler. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: Bell flight 6. Buzz again noted at mach 0.93. Turbopump overspeeding caused pilot to terminate power and jettison remaining fuel..

1953 November 21 - .
  • X-1A Flight 7 - . Crew: Yeager. Payload: X-1A flight 7. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Yeager. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: AF flight 1. Reached mach 1.15. Familiarization purposes..

1953 December 2 - .
  • X-1A Flight 8 - . Crew: Yeager. Payload: X-1A flight 8. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Yeager. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: AF flight 2. Mach 1.5..

1953 December 8 - .
  • X-1A Flight 9 - . Crew: Yeager. Payload: X-1A flight 9. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Yeager. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: AF flight 3. First high-mach flight attempt by X-1A. Mach 1.9 attained at 18300 m during slight climb..

1953 December 12 - .
  • X-1A Flight 10 - . Crew: Yeager. Payload: X-1A flight 10. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Yeager. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: AF flight 4. Plane attained mach 2.44, but met violent instability above mach 2.3. Tumbled 15250 m, wound up in subsonic inverted spin. Yeager recovered to upright spin, then normal flight at 7625 m..

1954 March 21 - .
  • X-1A Flight 11 - . Crew: Murray. Payload: X-1A flight 11. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Murray. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: AF flight 5. Date estimated..

1954 April 4 - .
  • X-1A Flight 12 - . Crew: Murray. Payload: X-1A flight 12. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Murray. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: AF flight 6. Date estimated..

1954 April 11 - .
  • X-1A Flight 13 - . Crew: Murray. Payload: X-1A flight 13. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Murray. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: AF flight 7. Date estimated..

1954 April 25 - .
  • X-1A Flight 14 - . Crew: Murray. Payload: X-1A flight 14. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Murray. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: AF flight 8. Date estimated..

1954 May 14 - .
  • X-1A Flight 15 - . Crew: Murray. Payload: X-1A flight 15. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Murray. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: AF flight 9. Date estimated..

1954 May 28 - .
  • X-1A Flight 16 - . Crew: Murray. Payload: X-1A flight 16. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Murray. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: AF flight 10. X-1A attained 26564 m, un-official world altitude record for manned aircraft..

1954 June 4 - .
  • X-1A Flight 17 - . Crew: Murray. Payload: X-1A flight 17. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Murray. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: AF flight 11. X-1A reached 27374 m. Encountered same instability Yeager had, but at mach 1.97. Murray recovered after tumbling 6100 m down to 20130 m..

1954 June 18 - .
  • X-1A Flight 18 - . Crew: Murray. Payload: X-1A flight 18. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Murray. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: AF flight 12. Date estimated..

1954 July 2 - .
  • X-1A Flight 19 - . Crew: Murray. Payload: X-1A flight 19. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Murray. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: AF flight 13. Date estimated..

1954 July 16 - .
  • X-1A Flight 20 - . Crew: Murray. Payload: X-1A flight 20. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Murray. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: AF flight 14. Date estimated..

1954 July 30 - .
  • X-1A Flight 21 - . Crew: Murray. Payload: X-1A flight 21. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Murray. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: AF flight 15. Date estimated..

1954 August 8 - .
  • X-1A Flight 22 - . Crew: Murray. Payload: X-1A flight 22. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Murray. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: AF flight 16. Date estimated..

1954 August 19 - .
  • X-1A Flight 23 - . Crew: Murray. Payload: X-1A flight 23. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Murray. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: AF flight 17. Date estimated..

1954 August 26 - .
  • X-1A Flight 24 - . Crew: Murray. Payload: X-1A flight 24. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Murray. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: AF flight 18. Murray attained 27584 m. Air Force then turned X-1A over to NACA..

1955 July 20 - .
  • X-1A Flight 25 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1A flight 25. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: NACA flight 1. Familiarization. Walker attained mach 1.45 at 13725 m. Noted severe aileron buzz at mach 0.90 to 0.92..

1955 August 8 - .
  • X-1A Flight 26 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1A flight 26. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1A. Summary: Planned at NACA flight 2. Shortly before launch from B-29, X-1A suffered low-order explosion, later traced to detonation of Ulmer leather gaskets. Walker exited into B-29 bomb bay..

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