YouTube - Bell X-1
1 x 6,000 lbs.
30 ft. 11 in.
10 ft. 10 in.
The Bell X-1 was the first manned aircraft to go supersonic during level flight.
Chuck Yeager accomplished the feat on October 14, 1947.
The aircraft was originally designated Bell XS-1 (Experimental/Sonic).
It flew 157 times starting in 1947 and ending in 1951.
Flights of the Bell X-1 helped contributed a great deal to the understanding of the basics of supersonic flight. What was learned from the program helped in the development of future aircraft.
Carbon fibre composites are now commonly used to reduce aircraft weight while increasing strength. While aircraft had mechanical control linkages they now have fly-by-wire aided by computers.
So long as human pilots continue to fly aircraft, they will recognize the advances made due to programs like the X-1. However, some are predicting that the days of manned fighter aircraft are coming to an end. For now, however, the world continues to build more advanced manned aircraft.
The Bell X-1 scratch built by Dan Nost. Wingspan is 36". Dan uses an Aerotech RMS 29/40-120 rocket engine for power.
RC Groups has a very informative build thread for the Bell X-1 by Agriebil.
Both RC Groups and RC Universe have posts by Cineas of pictures, information, and a link for those who can read Spanish, on the Bell X-1.