In 1947, no one knew if it was possible to break the "sound barrier." The Bell X-1 was the tiny, rocket-powered craft that finally broke it. It was the result of innovative designers and engineers turning their attention from the pioneering jets of World War II to a new taskan aircraft designed purely to fly faster than sound. Legendary pilots rallied to the cause, with World War II ace Chuck Yeager piloting the X-1 when it finally achieved supersonic flight in 1947, the first manned craft to reach such speeds. With historical photographs and meticulously researched digital art, Peter Davies traces the whole career of the Bell X-1, from its early development through to the influence it had on military and civilian jets in the second half of the 20th century.
About the Author
Peter E. Davies is a specialist on modern American high-performance aircraft, and has written or co-written 26 books. He lives in Bristol, UK.
Jim Laurier lives in New Hampshire. He has been commissioned to paint for the US Air Force and has aviation paintings on permanent display at the Pentagon. Jim created the cutaway and profile art for this book.
Gareth Hector is a digital artist and an aviation history enthusiast. Gareth completed the battlescene and cover artwork for this book.
Table of Contents
Introduction /Origins /Prototype Design /Flight Test and Development /Influence on Frontline Types /Conclusion /Bibliography /Index