Bell X-1B

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 October 8, 1954.

On all test missions, the X-1B was carried to launching altitude, normally 25,000 to 35,000 feet, nestled under a "mother" airplane. It was then released in mid-air and rocket power was applied which, 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. 0 in.
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

Maximum speed: 1,650 mph.
Landing Speed: 170 mph.
Maximum Altitude: 90,000 ft.