http://www.bellx-2.com/sightings/horizon/article.htmlIn early 1944, the U. S. Army Air Force (AAF), Engineering Division at Wright Field, Ohio, had developed a plan for High-Speed Flight Investigations simply known as Project-524. This plan, with broad objectives, as communicated to industry called for a proposed experimental rocket powered research airplane to explore the effects of compressibility at or near the speed of sound. This was the AAF's Mach 0.999 rocket-powered airplane program. Bell Aircraft Corporation in Buffalo, New York, the only credible industry respondent, won the contract in late 1944, for the design and construction of three air-launched airplanes known as the Experimental Sonic-1 or shortened to XS-1. In late December 1945, Bell Aircraft at their Niagara Falls, New York, plant rolled-out the first of three XS-1 airplanes (serial number 46-062, tail number 6062). The XS-1 was a small bullet shaped rocket-powered airplane with a straight thin-wing, the realization of Project-524 that was destined to leave its mark in aviation history. This airplane's sole significant objective was to shatter the sound barrier, to go where no other airplane had gone before.
The proposed Bell Corporation's X-2, triple sonic research airplane. This two-view drawing illustrates the general layout of the dual rocket powered radical experimental research airplane. (NASA SP-532)
In late 1944, the Engineering Division at Wright Field expressed their interest in high-speed swept-wing aerodynamics to which Bell responded with their proposed Model 37D. The Model 37D was a 40 degree swept-wing warmed-over version of the XS-1. After wind-tunnel tests and structural analysis it was determined that this up-grade modification to the XS-1 was impractical. This proposal was ultimately rejected by the AAF.
In September 1945, the same month WW II ended, the Bell engineers, not merely content with shattering the sound barrier with their XS-1, proposed an entirely new and bolder rocket-powered research airplane, known as Model 52, that was very advanced. It's fair to say that the saffron-colored paint was hardly dry or even applied on the XS-1 when, on December 14, 1945, the company's proposal to build the Model 52 was presented and accepted by the USAAF as Project MX-743. This airplane would be known as the XS-2 (later the X-2). The X-2 wasn't a reworked or warmed-over version of the XS-1, but an entirely new and radical concept in experimental airplane design. This revolutionary airplane was to have a 40 degree wing sweep and designed to achieve a Mach number somewhere around 3 and altitudes above 100,000 feet (30,480 m). Mach 1, the shattering of the so called Sound Barrier, had not been conquered by a piloted airplane yet and they were proposing one that would go three times as fast. The Bell engineers apparently didn't believe that a "sound barrier" existed. In 1945, all Bell's experimental rocket airplanes were highly classified secrets and a Mach 3 airplane was almost beyond belief. Very bold steps indeed!
The X-2 and its Objective — Flights to the Fringe of Space
Hey, don't worry. I am hooked on Fonics. We should actually be on VTE'scustomed1300 said:Thanks. Now, should I start to feel like I am a dumbass? Or should I wait until later?