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X-5

X-5 Ship #1 (50-1838) was flown by NACA from 1952 to late 1955. X-5 Ship #2 (50-1839) was operated only by Bell and the Air Force and was lost in a spin accident in 1953.

DFRC Photo # Photo Date Image Description
  Skip links in main table X-5 Photo Collection Contact Sheet
EC-17351 1957 X-5
E-648 1952 X-5 on ramp
E-653 Jan 1952 X-5 on ramp
E-799 1952 X-5 on ramp - side view
E-803 1952 X-5 on ramp - front view
E-806 1952 X-5 on ramp - front view, wings swept
E-810 23 Sep 1952 X-5 multiple exposure photo showing wing sweep
E-960 1952 NACA Aircraft in hangar 1952 - clockwise from front center: YF-84A, D-558-I, D-558-II, B-47, X-1 ship 2, and XF-92A. Behind the B-47 L-R: X-4, F-51, D-558-I, and X-5
E-2889 August 4, 1953 NACA research aircraft - Bell X-1A, D-558-1, XF-92A, X-5, D-558-II, X-4, & X-3

The X-5 was tested from 1951 until 1955 at the NACA High-Speed Research Station. Built by Bell Aircraft Company, the X-5's maiden flight was June 20, 1951. The X-5 was the first aircraft capable of sweeping its wings in flight and helped our understanding of wing-sweep angles of 20, 45, and 60 degrees at subsonic and transonic speeds.

The X-5 was tested from 1951 until 1955 at the NACA High-Speed Flight Research Station. Built and initially flight tested by Bell Aircraft Corporation, the first X-5 flight was on June 20, 1951. The X-5 was the first aircraft capable of variably sweeping its wings in flight and helped our understanding of wing-sweep angles of 20, 45, and 60 degrees at subsonic and transonic speeds. The X-5 Ship #1 (50-1838) was flown by NACA from 1952 to late 1955. The X-5 Ship #2 (50-1839) was operated only by Bell and the Air Force and was lost in a spin accident in 1953

The X-5 was a single-place aircraft powered by an Allison J-45-A jet engine, and measuring 36 feet in length with a wingspan of 19 feet (with the wings swept back 60 degrees). The X-5 weighed 10,000 pounds when fully fueled.

Results of the research program demonstrated that the variable-wing-sweep principle worked. With the wings fully extended the low-speed performance was improved for take-off and landing and when swept back the high speed performance was improved and drag reduced. The pilots found they could use the variable wing sweep as a tactical control to out-perform the
accompanying escort aircraft during research missions. The X-5 flight tests provided some of the design background for the
F-111 and the Navy F-14 tactical aircraft.

Other Links
Bell X-5 NACA Flight Chronology, 1952-1955



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