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Toward Breaking the Sound Barrier: Bell X-1 "XS-1 Transonic Research Airplane" pt2-2 c 1947 USAF

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Published on Nov 1, 2011

video for embedding at http://scitech.quickfound.net/aviatio...

"Tests conducted by the Enginerring Division of Air Material Command (AMC) located at Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio. In this footage the XS-1 is doing research in Muroc, California which is where Edwards AFB and Dryden Flight Research Center is located."

Air Material Command film report WF 08-106

Public domain film with letterboxing removed, the aspect ratio corrected, and mild noise reduction applied.

part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgqEVa...

from "Flights of Discovery: 50 Years at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center" http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/cas...

The most famous of all the research projects conducted at Dryden and its predecessor NACA/NASA facilities in the Mojave Desert is probably the X-1-the rocket plane that first broke the infamous "sound barrier" in October 1947.

The X-1, a joint effort of the Army Air Forces, NACA, and the Bell Aircraft Corporation, was built to get answers about flight in the transonic region (approaching and immediately surpassing the speed of sound) that researchers were unable to get through conventional ground and wind tunnel tests. Aircraft design had progressed rapidly during World War 11, but as high-performance fighters such as the Lockheed P-38 Lightning developed the capability of dive speeds approaching Mach 1, they began to encounter difficulties. Shock-wave, or "compressibility," effects could cause severe stability and control problems and had led to the inflight break-up of numerous aircraft. Many people began to believe that supersonic flight was an impossibility.

Clearly, more information about flight dynamics at these higher speeds was needed, but that information was proving difficult to obtain. In the 1940s, no effective transonic wind tunnels existed...

The AAF and NACA teamed up with Bell Aircraft to build three models of the X-1 rocket aircraft, while the Navy and NACA worked with the Douglas Aircraft Company to create the D-558-1 jet powered Skystreak. The Skystreak's performance would not be as great as the X-1 design, but a rocket-powered aircraft was seen as a much riskier proposition...

The X-1 was modeled after the shape of a bullet, which was the only shape that had been proven capable of stable transonic or supersonic flight. Its four-chamber, 6,000-pound thrust rocket engine would give it a mere 150 seconds of powered flight, which led to the decision to air-launch the aircraft from a specially modified Boeing B-29 Superfortress. In December 1945, only nine months after Bell Aircraft received an Army contract to build the plane, the first X-1 rolled out of the factory...

On a flight in early October 1947... the Air Force's primary X- 1 pilot, Captain Charles "Chuck" Yeager, achieved an indicated airspeed of Mach 0.94 but found that when he pulled back on the control stick, nothing happened. The speed had created a shock wave on the surface of the elevator, rendering it useless and leaving him with no pitch control... From then on Yeager used the elevator to control the X-1's pitch at subsonic speeds but relied on small trim adjustments of the entire stabilizer at speeds near or past Mach 1. An all moveable stabilizer proved to be such a critical component for transonic and supersonic flight, in fact, that virtually every transonic/supersonic aircraft since then has had one.

On 14 October 1947, flying with two broken ribs Captain Yeager took the X-1 to a speed of Mach 1.06 at 43,000 feet, proving for the first time that a piloted aircraft could successfully surpass the speed of sound and making the sound "barrier" a myth of the past.

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