Note: This aircraft is located in the Research & Development Gallery on a controlled-access portion of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The gallery will close until further notice beginning May 1, 2013, as part of budget reduction requirements due to sequestration.
The X-1B was one of a series of rocket-powered experimental research airplanes designed for investigation of various problems associated with supersonic flight. Specifically, the mission of the X-1B was flight research pertaining to aerodynamic heating and pilot reaction control systems. It made its first powered flight on Oct. 8, 1954.
On all test missions, the X-1B was carried to launching altitude, normally 25,000-35,000 feet, nestled under a "mother" airplane. It was then released in mid-air and rocket power was applied and, under full throttle, lasted less than five minutes. After all fuel (an alcohol-water mixture) and liquid oxygen had been consumed, the pilot glided the airplane to earth for a landing.
Span: 28 ft. Length: 35 ft. 7 in. Height: 10 ft. 8 in. Weight: 16,590 lbs. loaded Armament: None Engine: Reaction Motors XLR-11-RM-6 four-chamber rocket engine of 6,000 lbs. thrust Serial number: 48-1385
PERFORMANCE: Maximum speed: 1,650 mph Landing speed: 170 mph Maximum altitude: 90,000 ft.