Skip Top nav bar link group topnav end piece go to business section go to education section go to history section go to gallery section go to news section go to organizations section go to research section go to search engine go to site index topnav end piece
NASA Meatball NASA Dryden X-1B banner


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

Last Modified: October 25, 2006
Responsible NASA Official: Marty Curry
Curator: PAO Webmasters

NASA Website Privacy Statement