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astronautix.com X-1A

X-1A
X-1A

Credit: NASA. 63,541 bytes. 596 x 368 pixels.


Class: Manned. Type: Rocketplane. Nation: USA. Manufacturer: Bell.

The X-1A, B, and D were essentially identical rocketplanes intended to reach speeds above Mach 2. The X-1A and X-1D were destroyed in in-flight explosions; the X-1B survived, training future moon lander Neil Armstrong on its last flights in 1958.


Specification


X-1A Chronology


14 February 1953 X-1A Flight 1 Flight Crew: Ziegler.

Bell flight 1. Pilot familiarization. Fuel jettison test. Glide flight only.


21 February 1953 X-1A Flight 3 Flight Crew: Ziegler.

Bell flight 3. First powered flight. False fire warning.


26 March 1953 X-1A Flight 4 Flight Crew: Ziegler.

Bell flight 4. Plane demonstrated successful 4-cylinder engine operation.


10 April 1953 X-1A Flight 5 Flight Crew: Ziegler.

Bell flight 5. Pilot noted low-frequency elevator buzz at mach 0.93, did not proceed above this speed, pending buzz investigation.


25 April 1953 X-1A Flight 6 Flight Crew: Ziegler.

Bell flight 6. Buzz again noted at mach 0.93. Turbopump overspeeding caused pilot to terminate power and jettison remaining fuel.


21 November 1953 X-1A Flight 7 Flight Crew: Yeager.

AF flight 1. Reached mach 1.15. Familiarization purposes.


02 December 1953 X-1A Flight 8 Flight Crew: Yeager.

AF flight 2. Mach 1.5.


08 December 1953 X-1A Flight 9 Flight Crew: Yeager.

AF flight 3. First high-mach flight attempt by X-1A. Mach 1.9 attained at 18300 m during slight climb.


12 December 1953 X-1A Flight 10 Flight Crew: Yeager.

AF flight 4. Plane attained mach 2.44, but met violent instability above mach 2.3. Tumbled 15250 m, wound up in subsonic inverted spin. Yeager recovered to upright spin, then normal flight at 7625 m.


21 March 1954 X-1A Flight 11 Flight Crew: Murray.

AF flight 5. Date estimated.


04 April 1954 X-1A Flight 12 Flight Crew: Murray.

AF flight 6. Date estimated.


11 April 1954 X-1A Flight 13 Flight Crew: Murray.

AF flight 7. Date estimated.


25 April 1954 X-1A Flight 14 Flight Crew: Murray.

AF flight 8. Date estimated.


14 May 1954 X-1A Flight 15 Flight Crew: Murray.

AF flight 9. Date estimated.


28 May 1954 X-1A Flight 16 Flight Crew: Murray.

AF flight 10. X-1A attained 26564 m, un-official world altitude record for manned aircraft.


04 June 1954 X-1A Flight 17 Flight Crew: Murray.

AF flight 11. X-1A reached 27374 m. Encountered same instability Yeager had, but at mach 1.97. Murray recovered after tumbling 6100 m down to 20130 m.


18 June 1954 X-1A Flight 18 Flight Crew: Murray.

AF flight 12. Date estimated.


02 July 1954 X-1A Flight 19 Flight Crew: Murray.

AF flight 13. Date estimated.


16 July 1954 X-1A Flight 20 Flight Crew: Murray.

AF flight 14. Date estimated.


30 July 1954 X-1A Flight 21 Flight Crew: Murray.

AF flight 15. Date estimated.


08 August 1954 X-1A Flight 22 Flight Crew: Murray.

AF flight 16. Date estimated.


19 August 1954 X-1A Flight 23 Flight Crew: Murray.

AF flight 17. Date estimated.


26 August 1954 X-1A Flight 24 Flight Crew: Murray.

AF flight 18. Murray attained 27584 m. Air Force then turned X-1A over to NACA.


20 July 1955 X-1A Flight 25 Flight Crew: Walker Joseph.

NACA flight 1. Familiarization. Walker attained mach 1.45 at 13725 m. Noted severe aileron buzz at mach 0.90 to 0.92.


08 August 1955 X-1A Flight 26 Flight Crew: Walker Joseph.

Planned at NACA flight 2. Shortly before launch from B-29, X-1A suffered low-order explosion, later traced to detonation of Ulmer leather gaskets. Walker exited into B-29 bomb bay.



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .