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X-1B

The Bell Aircraft Corporation X-1B was similar to the Bell X-1A except for the installation of wingtips extensions for its last three flight. The NACA portion of the X-1B flight test program was for the purpose of aerodynamic heating research, accumulating data during 1956-1958. The X-1B was fitted with special instrumentation for exploratory aerodynamic heating tests. It had over 300 thermocouples installed on it.

DFRC Photo # Photo Date Image Description
  Skip links in main table X-1B Photo Collection Contact Sheet
E59-04479 Oct. 15, 1959 X-1B engine run on Air Force thrust stand.
E58-04109 July 30, 1958 Bell X-1B fitted with a reaction control system on the lakebed.
E58-04105 July 30, 1958 Bell X-1B fitted with a reaction control system on the lakebed.
E58-03663A April 9, 1958 B-29 #800 with X-1B attached taxi's in off of the lakebed.
E58-03583 April 3, 1958 X-1B reaction control simulation using CO2
E56-02389 June 16, 1956 Lee Adelsbach and Bob Cook work on the instrumentation on the Bell X-1B.
E-2547 1956 X-1B on lakebed
E-4097 1958 X-1B on lakebed
E-2539 1956 X-1B on lakebed
E-02256 1956 X-1B aircraft cockpit and instrument panel
E-1914 1955 NACA Aircraft on lakebed - D-558-II, X-1B, and X-1E

Additional Information

It was the first aircraft to fly with a reaction control system, a prototype of the control system used on the X-15 and other
piloted aircraft. Midway through its flight test program, the X-1B was equipped with an Reaction Motors, Inc. XLR-11-RM-9
engine which differed, from the other XLR-11s, only in having an electric spark, low-tension interrupter type ignition in place of the older high-tension type.

On January 27, 1959 the X-1B was given to the Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, for preservation
and public display. This aircraft completed a total of 27 glide and powered flights made by 8 USAF test pilots and 2 NACA test pilots.

Other Links
Bell X-1 series aircraft description



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