June 26, 2022

On This Day In Space: June 23, 1949: XS-1 rocket plane takes 117th Flight

On This Day In Space: June 23, 1949: XS-1 rocket plane takes 117th Flight
On This Day In Space: June 23, 1949: XS-1 rocket plane takes 117th FlightOn This Day In Space: June 23, 1949: XS-1 rocket plane takes 117th Flight

On June 23, 1949, the XS-1 rocket plane flew for the 117th time. The XS-1, later called the Bell X-1, was a piloted, rocket engine-powered X-plane that could fly faster than the speed of sound. 

During this flight, pilot Robert Champine tested the aircraft’s stability, control and handling at transonic speeds. He even managed to pull a few stunts, like pull-ups and rolls.

There were 157 flights in total for the XS-1. These provided data for future US fighter designs as well as spacecraft designs.

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