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X-5 Photo Gallery Contact Sheet X-5 Photo Gallery Contact Sheet

Photo Number: N/A
Photo Date: N/A

Formats: Low Resolution Image Contact Sheet (46 KBytes)
Medium Resolution Image Contact Sheet (46 KBytes)
High Resolution Image Contact Sheet (43 KBytes)

These are the image contact sheets for each image resolution of the NASA Dryden X-5 Photo Gallery.

The Bell, X-5 was flight tested at the NACA High-Speed Flight Research Station (now the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California) from 1952 to 1955. The X-5 was the first aircraft capable of sweeping its wings in flight. It helped provide data about wing-sweep at angles of up to 60 degrees at subsonic and transonic speeds.

There were two X-5 vehicles. Ship 1 was flown at the NACA High-Speed Flight Research Station (High-Speed Flight Station, as it was redesignated in 1954) from 1951 to 1955. Ship 2 was operated by Bell and the U.S. Air Force and was lost in a spin accident in 1953.

Following the conclusion of the contractor’s test program, the X-5 was grounded for installation of a NACA instrument package. The Air Force conducted a short, six-flight, evaluation program. Since the Air Force evaluation program included data collection, it was considered as part of the overall NACA effort and flights were logged as AF/NACA. In the NACA test program, the X-5 demonstrated severe stall-spin instability. The X-5 was also used as a chase plane for other research aircraft because it could vary its flying characteristics to suit the airplane it was chasing. Ship 1 flew a total of 133 flights during its three years of service.

In spite of the problems with the aircraft, the X-5 provided a significant full-scale verification of NACA wind-tunnel predictions for reduced drag and improved performance that resulted from this configuration’s increasing the wing sweep as the speed of the aircraft approached the speed of sound. The X-5 flight tests provided some of the design data for the Air Force F-111 and Navy F-14 tactical aircraft. Although the mechanism by which the X-5 changed its wing sweep made this particular design impractical, development of a viable variable-sweep aircraft had to await Langley Aeronautical Laboratory’s concept of an outboard wing pivot in the mid-1950s. (Langley was a NACA research laboratory in Hampton, Virginia.)

The X-5 was a single-seat aircraft powered by an Allison J35-A-17A jet engine. It was 33.33 feet long with a wingspan of 20.9 feet (with the wings swept back at an angle of 60 degrees) to 33.5 feet (with the wings unswept). When fully fueled, the X-5 weighed 9,875 pounds.

NASA Photo by: N/A

Keywords: X-5; F-111; F-14; Bell Aircraft Company; U.S. Air Force; NACA; NASA; High-Speed Flight Research Station; Dryden Flight Research Center; Allison; J35-A-17A

Last Modified: February 6, 2002
Responsible NASA Official: Marty Curry
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