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Bell X-1 Variants and Projects

XP67_Moonbat

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From Chapter 3 of DARK EAGLES, by Curtis Peebles:

"There had beenearly pre-U-2 studies of high-speed reconnaisance aircraft. One was by Bell Aircraft of the "RX-1", a second generation X-1 rocket-powered research aircraft with camera equipment."

I have never heard of this variant. I read of a proposed armed variant. But this one is new to me.

Moonbat
 

OM

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...Why do I have a vision of "Glamorous Glennis" with a big rotating radar disk on top of it now? :p
 

dickie

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haha. just an idea mentioned in passing but recorded for posterity or something that was actually developed to a certain degree?
 

Clioman

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In the FWIW category, Andreas Parsch has an entry in his MX [Materiel - Experimental] project number list for something related to the use of the Douglas X-3 as a reconnaissance vehicle. The contractor is identified as Boston University's Optical Research Lab -- note that the first entry is for the Pie Face camera used aboard C-97s in the Berlin air corridor, and later in RB-36 aircraft. Presumably, they had something smaller in mind for the X-3. Obviously, this study didn't produce much of anything in the 'real world.' Here's the listing:

Aerial cameras and photography
- MX-1703-A: 240-inch aerial camera
- MX-1703-B: Glass endurance to thermal shock
- MX-1703-C: Wielding of long focal length spotting camera
- MX-1703-D: Study of installation of panoramic camera in X-3
- MX-1703-E: Research and development of reconnaissance system for X-3
- MX-1703-F: Auxiliary equipment for photographic night reconnaissance
- MX-1703-G: Investigation of electrically modified ADP crystal
- MX-1703-H: Survey of mapping and charting equipment and techniques
- MX-1703-I: Photographic keys
- MX-1703-J: Aerial photography research for BuOrd contractors - #14705 & #15615
 

XP67_Moonbat

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From AeroFax Data Graph 3: BELL X-1 VARIANTS, by be Guenther and Jay Miller. This is the book Curtis Peeble referenced in DARK EAGLES:

"At least one study conducted by Bell refers to a reconnaissance capability for the aircraft. Apparently, it was proposed at one time to carry an "RX-1" to a target area, launch it, and later retrieve it following its intelligence gathering pass over the target. Little information has surfaced concerning the aircraft configuration, its optical sensors, or the proposed means of retrieval."



but......

Something just occured to me today. How exactly would a recon X-1 be recovered? Would a FICON system be employed for mid-air recovery? Maybe this was an early inspiration for the FICON program. Think about it. An RF-84 loaded with JP-4 would be easier to carry around than an X-1 full of LOX. And, operationally, LOX has got to be a pain in the arse, fuel-wise.

Maybe thats why the idea probably wasn't developed further.

So still....no pictures or graphics of this one. Guess until somebody (probably Scott if anything) digs up the study, we can consider this case closed.
 

Steve Pace

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Does anyone have data and/or illustration(s) of the armed Bell X-1C? -SP
 

jstar

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The Aerofax Datagraph 3 on the Bell X-1 Variants by Jay Miller may have had some pictures and data on it. My copy is stashed in a box somewhere. I'll try to find it this week if nothing shows up.


Joe
 

Steve Pace

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jstar said:
The Aerofax Datagraph 3 on the Bell X-1 Variants by Jay Miller may have had some pictures and data on it. My copy is stashed in a box somewhere. I'll try to find it this week if nothing shows up.


Joe
Thanks, Joe! -SP
 

jstar

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Not as hard to find as I thought it would be. There are only two pictures in the Aerofax book, and no real information about the setup. There is a third picure in the first edition of 'The X-Planes', but not information beyond the picture caption, and that's all I have.


Can scan them if you need them.


Joe
 

Steve Pace

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jstar said:
Not as hard to find as I thought it would be. There are only two pictures in the Aerofax book, and no real information about the setup. There is a third picure in the first edition of 'The X-Planes', but not information beyond the picture caption, and that's all I have.


Can scan them if you need them.


Joe
I PM'd you - THANKS! -SP
 

Johnbr

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The X-1C, which was designed to test high speed flight armaments,.
lthough similar in general construction to the other X-1 airframes, the X-1C differed by being fitted with large vertical yaw damping surfaces to the upper and lower skins of each wing, combined with a retractable ventral fin under the rear fuselage. In addition, the nose compartment was designed to accommodate many different types of armament fit, as opposed to the test instrumentation used on the other X-1s.History Edit Originally intended to serve as a high speed armament and fire control testbed, the X-1C was included in contract W33-038-ac-20692, issued on 2 April 1948 for a quartet of second generation X-1 aircraft.[3] However, the arrival of transonic aircraft, such as the F-86 and F-100,[2] led to the X-1C being cancelled before the start of construction, with it's intended serial number of 48-1386 passing to the X-1D
 

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Steve Pace

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Johnbr said:
The X-1C, which was designed to test high speed flight armaments,.
lthough similar in general construction to the other X-1 airframes, the X-1C differed by being fitted with large vertical yaw damping surfaces to the upper and lower skins of each wing, combined with a retractable ventral fin under the rear fuselage. In addition, the nose compartment was designed to accommodate many different types of armament fit, as opposed to the test instrumentation used on the other X-1s.History Edit Originally intended to serve as a high speed armament and fire control testbed, the X-1C was included in contract W33-038-ac-20692, issued on 2 April 1948 for a quartet of second generation X-1 aircraft.[3] However, the arrival of transonic aircraft, such as the F-86 and F-100,[2] led to the X-1C being cancelled before the start of construction, with it's intended serial number of 48-1386 passing to the X-1D
Very interesting indeed - thanks so much! -SP
 

Steve Pace

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Johnbr said:
The X-1C, which was designed to test high speed flight armaments,.
lthough similar in general construction to the other X-1 airframes, the X-1C differed by being fitted with large vertical yaw damping surfaces to the upper and lower skins of each wing, combined with a retractable ventral fin under the rear fuselage. In addition, the nose compartment was designed to accommodate many different types of armament fit, as opposed to the test instrumentation used on the other X-1s.History Edit Originally intended to serve as a high speed armament and fire control testbed, the X-1C was included in contract W33-038-ac-20692, issued on 2 April 1948 for a quartet of second generation X-1 aircraft.[3] However, the arrival of transonic aircraft, such as the F-86 and F-100,[2] led to the X-1C being cancelled before the start of construction, with it's intended serial number of 48-1386 passing to the X-1D
BTW: Where are these images from?
 

Dragon029

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Looks like photos from a flight sim, probably X-Plane (the first image looks like someone took a screenshot and applied filters / effects to it).
 

lark

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Perhaps slightly off topic , but there was also a Bell XS-1 proposal armed
with four 0.50 calibre MG's bearing the Bell designation Bell-S1.

Concept presented in 2 variants. One for conventional take off
and the other as a parasite aircraft.

Bell brochure illustration on page 129 of
Experimental & Prototype U.S. AirForce Jetfighters.
Dennis Jenkins & Tony Landis - Specialty Press-2008.
 

XP67_Moonbat

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Mods, I see a possible merge with my thread on the recon X-1 as they both seem to mention parasite variants.


Edit: Topics merged
 

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