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X-1A on lakebed X-1A on lakebed

Photo Number: E-1764
Photo Date: 1955

Formats: 539x480 JPEG Image (72 KBytes)
1150x1024 JPEG Image (390 KBytes)
3000x2670 JPEG Image (3,590 KBytes)

Description: The Bell Aircraft Corporation X-1A (48-1384) is photographed in 1955 sitting on the Rogers Dry Lakebed at Edwards, California.

This view of the right side of the aircraft shows a middle section that contrasts quite distinctively with the over-all white paint scheme of the X-1A during its NACA High-Speed Flight Research Station tenure. The extreme cold of the liquid oxygen used as a propellant (along with alcohol) and its deleterious affect on paint dictated that the fuselage area next to the tank be left unpainted. The X-1A arrived at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on January 7, 1953. Bell test pilot Jean "Skip" Ziegler made six test flights between 14 February and 25 April 1953. Air Force test pilots Maj. Charles "Chuck" Yeager and Maj. Arthur "Kit" Murray made 18 flights between 21 November 1953 and 26 August 1954. NACA test pilot Joe Walker made one successful flight on 20 July 1955. During a second flight attempt on 8 August 1955, an explosion damaged the aircraft shortly before launch. Walker climbed back up into the JTB-29A mothership, and the X-1A was jettisoned over the Edwards AFB bombing range.

Keywords: Bell Aircraft Corporation X-1A; NACA High-Speed Flight Research Station; Edwards Air Force Base

Last Modified: February 6, 2002
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