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Posted 11/19/2014 Printable Fact Sheet
DAYTON, Ohio -- Reaction Motors XLR11 rocket engine at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Note: The Missile & Space Gallery will close temporarily, beginning Dec. 8, 2014, for approximately five months for construction linking the gallery to the museum's new fourth building. This exhibit will not be accessible during that time. Click here for more information.

The XLR11 was the first liquid-fuel rocket engine developed in the United States for use on airplanes. Designed and built by Reaction Motors, the engine used ethyl alcohol and liquid oxygen as propellants to generate a maximum thrust of 6,000 pounds. Thrust could be varied by operating the XLR11's four combustion chambers individually or in combination.

The engine was first used in the Bell X-1. On Oct. 14, 1947, it became the first airplane in history to fly faster than the speed of sound. The XLR11 also was used in the X-1A and X-1B and in the Republic XF-91. In 1959 and 1960, while development of a more powerful engine was still underway, a pair of XLR11s were used as an interim power plant for the initial flights of the X-15 research aircraft. After 24 powered flights, the XLR11 engines were replaced by the new XLR99 engine in November 1960.

Model: XLR-11-RM-5
Chamber arrangement: Four chambers
Maximum thrust: 6,000 lbs.
Weight: 210 lbs.

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Related Fact Sheets
Bell X-1B
Republic XF-91 Thunderceptor
North American X-15A-2
Reaction Motors XLR99 Rocket Engine
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