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X Planes

X Series of U.S. Experimental AirplanesCreated by: PICRYLDated: 2017
Lifting Bodies on Lakebed
The X-planes are a series of experimental United States aircraft and rockets, used to test and evaluate new technologies and aerodynamic concepts. They have an X designator, which indicates the research mission within the US system of aircraft designations.
The first, the Bell X-1, became well known in 1947 after it became the first aircraft to break the sound barrier in level flight.
Most of the X-planes have been operated by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) or, later, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), often in conjunction with the United States Air Force.
The majority of X-plane testing has occurred at Edwards Air Force Base. Some of the X-planes have been well publicized, while others have been developed in secrecy. Most X-planes are not expected to go into full-scale production.
1929
1929
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2018
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2018
566 Media in collectionpage 1 of 6
X-1-3 Being Mated To EB-50A Superfortress

X-1-3 Being Mated To EB-50A Superfortress

(November 9, 1951) The third X-1 (46-064), known as "Queenie," is mated to the EB-50A (46- 006) at Edwards AFB, California. Following a captive flight on November 9, 1951, both aircraft were destroyed by fire d... more

X-15 #2 just after launch

X-15 #2 just after launch

Description: The X-15 #2 (56-6671) launches away from the B-52 mothership with its rocket engine ignited. The white patches near the middle of the ship are frost from the liquid oxygen used in the propulsion sy... more

Lifting Bodies on Lakebed

Lifting Bodies on Lakebed

(November 30, 1968) The wingless lifting body aircraft sitting on Rogers Dry Lake at what is now NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California. From left to right are the X-24A, M2-F3 and the HL-10.... more

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Bell XFM-1 Left Side, Low

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Bell XFM-1 Right Front Above, in flight

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Bell XFM-1 Right Front Above view, in flight

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Bell XFM-1 Right Side, Low, Showing Turbocharger

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Bell XFM-1 On Ramp Left Front

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Bell XFM-1 Artist's conception in flight

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Bell XFM-1 Head on View showing nacelle mounted cannons

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Bell XFM-1 Inside view W/ Top Turret extended

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Bell XFM-1 Interior, looking Forward from 50 cal Gunners seat

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Bell XFM-1 After Accident Left Front View

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Bell XFM-1 After Accident Close Up Cockpit left side

XB-32 model wing with 15% chord sealed gap aileron. Flaps extended to 40 degrees.  The first wind-tunnel report published by Ames Covered the XB-32 Test in the 7-by-10 No. ! and was authored by Roy P. Jackson and George L. Smith Jr. ARC-1969-AAL-1443

XB-32 model wing with 15% chord sealed gap aileron. Flaps extended to ...

XB-32 model wing with 15% chord sealed gap aileron. Flaps extended to 40 degrees. The first wind-tunnel report published by Ames Covered the XB-32 Test in the 7-by-10 No. ! and was authored by Roy P. Jackson a... more

XB-42 Ship 1 Front Quarter

XB-42 Ship 1 Front Quarter

aahs_p006099.26 May 44

XB-42 Ship 1 Rear Quarter

XB-42 Ship 1 Rear Quarter

aahs_p009890.26 May 44

Bell XP–59A Airacomet in the Altitude Wind Tunnel

Bell XP–59A Airacomet in the Altitude Wind Tunnel

The secret test of the Bell YP–59A Airacomet in the spring of 1944 was the first investigation in the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory’s new Altitude Wind T... more

XB-42 Front Quarter

XB-42 Front Quarter

aahs_p005699..24 Sep 45

XB-43 Side View

XB-43 Side View

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XB-43 Banking

XB-43 Banking

aahs_p005704

XB-42 Front

XB-42 Front

aahs_p005700.24 Sep 45

XB-42 Ship 2 Rear Quarter

XB-42 Ship 2 Rear Quarter

NARA RG-18-WP..31 May 45

XB-42 Rear Quarter

XB-42 Rear Quarter

aahs_25244.24 Sep 45

XB-43 Side In Flight
XB-42 Side

XB-42 Side

aahs_p005703.Aug 1945

XB-43 Rear Quarter

XB-43 Rear Quarter

aahs_p005696

XB-42 Ship 2 Side View

XB-42 Ship 2 Side View

aahs_p01323331 May 45

XB-45 First Photo

XB-45 First Photo

NARA B26236..First official photo of B-45

XB-43 Front Quarter
XB-42 Rear

XB-42 Rear

aahs_p005702.24 Sep 45

XB-43 Landing

XB-43 Landing

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Bell XFM-1 Rear View showing Flap, Prop, and landing gear details

XB-42 Ship 2 Front Quarter

XB-42 Ship 2 Front Quarter

aahs_p005699 (1).31 May 45

XB-43 Front Quarter Flight
XB-43 Front In Flight
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Bell XFM-1 After Accident Left Rear

XB-43 Color 2

XB-43 Color 2

aahs_p005688.

XB-43 Front Quarter Landing
XB-35 Ground Muroc 2

XB-35 Ground Muroc 2

NARA 25998..4 Dec 59..163077AC

XB-46 Artist Concept

XB-46 Artist Concept

NARA B26254..July 45

XB-35 Crew Quarters Mockup

XB-35 Crew Quarters Mockup

NARA B26008..22 Nov 46..Forward view crews quesrters, bunks down..A-32306AC

XB-35 Wing Structure

XB-35 Wing Structure

NARA B26011..22 Nov 46..XB-35 typical outer wing structure..32310AC

XB-35 Hawthorne 1

XB-35 Hawthorne 1

NARA B25993..30 April 46..31230AC

XB-35 Underneath 1

XB-35 Underneath 1

NARA B26001..23 July 46..A-31630AC

XB-35 Rear Gunner Mockup

XB-35 Rear Gunner Mockup

NARA B26006..22 Nov 46..Rear upper gunners compartment with bunks down..32305AC

XB-35 Navigator Mockup

XB-35 Navigator Mockup

NARA B26007..22 NOV 46..NAVIGATOR'S STATIOON..32307AC

XB-35 Bombardier Mockup

XB-35 Bombardier Mockup

NARA B26005..22 Nov 46..Bombardier and copilot Mockup..32307AC

XB-35 Crew Quarters Mockup2

XB-35 Crew Quarters Mockup2

NARA B26009..22 Nov 46..forwqard view crew quarters, bunks up

XB-35 Hawthorne 2

XB-35 Hawthorne 2

NARA B25994..30 April 46..31233AC

XB-35 Pilot Cockpit Mockup

XB-35 Pilot Cockpit Mockup

NARA B26003..22 Nov 46..XB-35 Mockup, Pilot station

XB-35 Underneath 2

XB-35 Underneath 2

NARA B26002..23 July 46..3`630AC

XB-46 Rear Quarter

XB-46 Rear Quarter

NARA B26271..1947 San Diego

XB-42A Front Quarter 2

XB-42A Front Quarter 2

aahs_p013234 22 Jul 47

XB-35 Ground Muroc 3

XB-35 Ground Muroc 3

NARA B25997..26 May 47..33169AC

Standing left to right alongside of Bell XS-1 are: Captain Charles E. Yeager, Major Gus Lundquist and Captain James Fitzgerald

Standing left to right alongside of Bell XS-1 are: Captain Charles E. ...

Photograph shows "Chuck" Yeager, Gus Lundquist, and Jim Fitzgerald wearing a flight suit, standing next to the Bell XS-1 rocket research airplane "Glamorous Glennis." Title from item. A.C. 34514. Credit: U.S. A... more

XB-48 High View

XB-48 High View

NARA B26388..15 April 47

XB-42A Rear View

XB-42A Rear View

aahs_p0132238.22 Jul 47

XB-42A Front Quarter

XB-42A Front Quarter

aahs_p013235 22 Jul 47

XB-46 Nose

XB-46 Nose

NARA B26265..1947

XB-48 Taxi

XB-48 Taxi

NARA B26393..18 Jun 47

XB-42A Rear Quarter

XB-42A Rear Quarter

aahs_p0132237..22 Jul 47

X-1-1 In Flight

X-1-1 In Flight

(1947) The Bell Aircraft Corporation X-1-1 (#46-062) in flight. The shock wave pattern in the exhaust plume is visible. The X-1 series aircraft were air-launched from a modified Boeing B-29 or B-50 Superfortres... more

XB-43 Cutaway

XB-43 Cutaway

aahs_p005690.1 Jul 47

XB-48 Pax River 2

XB-48 Pax River 2

NARA B26387..After first flight, Middle Riover to Pax River..22 Jun 47

XB-42A Front View

XB-42A Front View

aahs_p013236.22 Jul 47

XB-46 Taxi San Diego

XB-46 Taxi San Diego

NARA B26266..1947..San Diego

XB-48 Pax River 1

XB-48 Pax River 1

NARA B26386..22 Jun 47..After first flight from Middle River to Pax River

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tunnel

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tu...

Modified Bell X-1 model pioneered variable-sweep studies in 1947. Photograph published in Sixty Years of Aeronautical Research 1917-1977 By David A. Anderton. A NASA publication, page 52.

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tunnel

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tu...

Modified Bell X-1 model pioneered variable-sweep studies in 1947. Photograph published in Sixty Years of Aeronautical Research 1917-1977 By David A. Anderton. A NASA publication, page 52.

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tunnel

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tu...

Modified Bell X-1 model pioneered variable-sweep studies in 1947. Photograph published in Sixty Years of Aeronautical Research 1917-1977 By David A. Anderton. A NASA publication, page 52.

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tunnel

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tu...

Modified Bell X-1 model pioneered variable-sweep studies in 1947. Photograph published in Sixty Years of Aeronautical Research 1917-1977 By David A. Anderton. A NASA publication, page 52.

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tunnel

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tu...

Modified Bell X-1 model pioneered variable-sweep studies in 1947. Photograph published in Sixty Years of Aeronautical Research 1917-1977 By David A. Anderton. A NASA publication, page 52.

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tunnel

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tu...

Modified Bell X-1 model pioneered variable-sweep studies in 1947. Photograph published in Sixty Years of Aeronautical Research 1917-1977 By David A. Anderton. A NASA publication, page 52.

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tunnel

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tu...

Modified Bell X-1 model pioneered variable-sweep studies in 1947. Photograph published in Sixty Years of Aeronautical Research 1917-1977 By David A. Anderton. A NASA publication, page 52.

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tunnel

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tu...

Modified Bell X-1 model pioneered variable-sweep studies in 1947. Photograph published in Sixty Years of Aeronautical Research 1917-1977 By David A. Anderton. A NASA publication, page 52.

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tunnel

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tu...

Modified Bell X-1 model pioneered variable-sweep studies in 1947. Photograph published in Sixty Years of Aeronautical Research 1917-1977 By David A. Anderton. A NASA publication, page 52.

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tunnel

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tu...

Modified Bell X-1 model pioneered variable-sweep studies in 1947. Photograph published in Sixty Years of Aeronautical Research 1917-1977 By David A. Anderton. A NASA publication, page 52.

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tunnel

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tu...

Modified Bell X-1 model pioneered variable-sweep studies in 1947. Photograph published in Sixty Years of Aeronautical Research 1917-1977 By David A. Anderton. A NASA publication, page 52.

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tunnel

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tu...

Modified Bell X-1 model pioneered variable-sweep studies in 1947. Photograph published in Sixty Years of Aeronautical Research 1917-1977 By David A. Anderton. A NASA publication, page 52.

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tunnel

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tu...

Modified Bell X-1 model pioneered variable-sweep studies in 1947. Photograph published in Sixty Years of Aeronautical Research 1917-1977 By David A. Anderton. A NASA publication, page 52.Modified Bell X-1 mode... more

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tunnel

Bell X-1 Research Model on Single Support Strut in 7 x 10 Foot Wind Tu...

Modified Bell X-1 model pioneered variable-sweep studies in 1947. Photograph published in Sixty Years of Aeronautical Research 1917-1977 By David A. Anderton. A NASA publication, page 52.

XB-35 In Flight

XB-35 In Flight

NARA B25988..24 May 48..USAF photo by J Evans, K-4670

X-1 On Display

X-1 On Display

Description (1948) A Bell Aircraft Corporation X-1 series aircraft on display at an Open House at NACA Muroc Flight Test Unit or High-Speed Flight Research Station hangar on South Base of Edwards Air Force Base... more

XB-46 Cutaway

XB-46 Cutaway

NARA B26247..Oct 48

XB-46 Front Quarter 1

XB-46 Front Quarter 1

NARA B26249..June 48

Icing on J-34 Engine

Icing on J-34 Engine

(November 30, 1948) Icing on J-34 engine at the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory, Cleveland Ohio. The J-34 engine was built by the Westinghouse Corporation and was used on such aircraft as the Lockheed C11-12... more

McDonald XP-85 Airplane in 40x80 foot Wind Tunnel.

McDonald XP-85 Airplane in 40x80 foot Wind Tunnel.

Front View of McDonald XP-85 Plan Model. Parasite Airplane designed to be carried in the B-36 bombay (never built) At the time it was the smallest Jet powered airplane. The McDonnell XF-85 Goblin was an Americ... more

X-1-2 on Ramp with Boeing B-29

X-1-2 on Ramp with Boeing B-29

(1949) The Bell Aircraft Corporation X-1-2 sitting on the ramp at NACA High- Speed Flight Research Station with the Boeing B-29 launch ship behind. The B-29 was fondly referred to as "Fertile Myrtle." The paint... more

XB-51 High Rear

XB-51 High Rear

NARA B26518..26 Sep 49

X-1-2 with Pilots Robert Champine Herb Hoover

X-1-2 with Pilots Robert Champine Herb Hoover

(September 1, 1949) The Bell Aircraft Corporation X-1-2 and two of the NACA pilots that flew the aircraft. The one on the left is Robert Champine with the other being Herbert Hoover. The X-1-2 was also equipped... more

XB-51 Side

XB-51 Side

NARA B26504..20 Sep 49

XB-48 Nose

XB-48 Nose

NARA B26382..21 Feb 49

XB-51 High Side

XB-51 High Side

NARA B26519..19 Sep 49

XB-51 Take Off 1

XB-51 Take Off 1

NARA B26524..8 Oct 49

D-558-2 being towed on lakebed

D-558-2 being towed on lakebed

Description (1949) In this 1949 photograph a D-558-2 is being towed across Rogers Dry Lakebed at Edwards Air Force Base. The aircraft is still equipped with a jet engine, used for ground takeoffs. On the tail o... more

XB-51 High Nose 1

XB-51 High Nose 1

NARA B26507..20 Sep 49

XB-35 In Flight Muroc 2

XB-35 In Flight Muroc 2

NARA B25989..13 Oct 49..36611AC

XB-35 In Flight Muroc 1

XB-35 In Flight Muroc 1

NARA B25987..13 Oct 49..USAF 34424AC

XB-48 Lower In Flight

XB-48 Lower In Flight

NARA B26398..25 Feb 49