Encyclopedia Astronautica

American manned rocketplane. Study 1953. 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...

  • Miller, Ron, The Dream Machines, Krieger, Malabar, Florida, 1993.
  • Zhelyez x-plane book,
  • NASA Report, NASA Factsheet FS-082-DFRC X-1, Second Generation, Web Address when accessed: here.

X-1D Chronology

1951 July 24 - .
  • X-1D Flight 1 - . Crew: Ziegler. Payload: X-1D flight 1. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Ziegler. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1D. Summary: Bell flight 1. Glide flight for familiarization. Nose landing gear broken on landing. Following repairs, plane turned over to the Air Force..

1951 August 22 - .
  • X-1D Flight 2 - . Crew: Everest. Payload: X-1D flight 2. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Everest. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1D. Summary: AF flight 1. Launch aborted, but X-1D suffered low-order explosion during pressurization for fuel jettison. Plane jettisoned from B-50. X-1D exploded on impact with desert. Everest managed to get into B-50 bomb bay before drop..

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