Encyclopedia Astronautica
X-2



x2.jpg
X-2
Credit: NASA
American manned rocketplane. Design began 1945. X-2 was an AAF/ Bell project that flew three supersonic flight research aircraft, powered by liquid rockets. Originally designated XS-2.

The X-2 was the first swept-wing X rocketplane. It exceeded Mach 3, but in the course of doing so uncovered the supersonic aircraft problem of inertial coupling. On its last flight the aircraft crashed and the pilot was killed.

AKA: XS-2.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • XLR25-CW-1 Curtiss-Wright Lox/Alcohol rocket engine. 66.880 kN. Out of Production. First flight 1954. Two chamber engine built for X-2 rocketplane. Engine could be throttled continuously from 1140 kgf to 6820 kgf. More...

See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Bell American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. ARC Liquid Propellant Division, Niagara Falls, NY, USA. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Lox/Alcohol Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Alcohol (C2H5OH) was the fuel used for the German V-2 rocket, and the first derivative rocket engines in the United States, Soviet Union, and China used it as well. Better performance was achieved by increasing the alcohol concentration in the post-war engines. But after better-performance rocket-grade kerosene was developed by Rocketdyne in the REAP program of 1953, use of alcohol was abandoned. More...

Bibliography
  • Emme, Eugene M, Aeronautics and Astronautics: An American Chronology of Science and Technology in the Exploration of Space 1915-1960, NASA, 1961. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Miller, Ron, The Dream Machines, Krieger, Malabar, Florida, 1993.
  • Zhelyez x-plane book,
  • Goddard, Robert H, Collected Papers of Robert H Goddard,
  • NASA Report, NASA Factsheet FS-079-DFRC X-2, Web Address when accessed: here.

X-2 Chronology


1945 July - .
  • Goddard's rocket team ends its work. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Goddard. Spacecraft: X-2. Goddard's rocket team ends its work at the Naval Engineering Experiment Station at Annapolis, Maryland. During the previous three years the team had developed a variable-thrust rocket motors. This required hundreds of proving-stand tests, but eventually producing a successful motor, later used on the Bell X-2 rocket plane.

1945 December 14 - .
  • X-2 rocket airplane development starts. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: X-2. Summary: AAF contracted with Bell for development of three supersonic flight research aircraft, powered by liquid rockets. Designated XS-2, and later X-2..

1953 May 12 - .
  • X-2 explodes in air - . Crew: Ziegler. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Ziegler. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-2 . During a Bell captive-carry flight test over Lake Ontario, X-2 number 46-675 suddenly exploded, killing Bell test pilot Jean Ziegler and observer Frank Wolko. The EB-50A mothership managed to land, although damaged. Only after several other mysterious X-plane losses was the cause found to be a rocket engine gasket made of Ulmer leather, which decomposed and became explosively unstable after sustained exposure to liquid oxygen.

1954 August 5 - .
  • X-2 Flight 1 - . Crew: Everest. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 1. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Everest. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-2 . Summary: First glide flight of the second X-2, number 46-674, after delivery to Edwards AFB a month earlier. Damaged on landing..

1955 March 8 - .
  • X-2 Flight 2 - . Crew: Everest. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 2. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Everest. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-2 . Summary: Second glide flight. Propellant system check. Minor damage on landing..

1955 April 6 - .
  • X-2 Flight 3 - . Crew: Everest. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 3. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Everest. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-2 . Summary: Third glide flight. Damaged on landing. Following flight, plane returned to Bell plant for extensive modifications to landing gear system to prevent further landing accidents and for installation of its rocket engine..

1955 October 25 - .
  • X-2 Flight 4 - . Crew: Everest. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 4. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Everest. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-2 . Summary: Aborted powered flight attempt; became 4th glide flight..

1955 November 18 - .
  • X-2 Flight 5 - . Crew: Everest. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 5. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Everest. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-2 . Summary: First powered flight. Mach 0.992 at 10,675 m. Slight fire damage from engine bay fire..

1956 March 24 - .
  • X-2 Flight 6 - . Crew: Everest. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 6. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Everest. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-2 . Summary: Second powered flight, mach 0.91..

1956 April 25 - .
  • X-2 Flight 7 - . Crew: Everest. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 7. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Everest. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-2 . Summary: 3d powered flight, mach 1.4 at 15250 m..

1956 May 1 - .
  • X-2 Flight 8 - . Crew: Everest. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 8. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Everest. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-2 . Summary: Fourth powered flight, mach 1.683 at 16,378 m..

1956 May 11 - .
  • X-2 Flight 9 - . Crew: Everest. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 9. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Everest. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-2 . Summary: Fifth powered flight, mach 1.8 at 18,300 m..

1956 May 22 - .
  • X-2 Flight 10 - . Crew: Everest. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 10. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Everest. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-2 . Summary: Sixth powered flight, mach 2.53 at 17.803 m..

1956 May 25 - .
  • X-2 Flight 11 - . Crew: Kincheloe. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 11. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kincheloe. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-2 . Summary: Seventh powered flight; pilot checkout, mach 1+..

1956 July 12 - .
  • X-2 Flight 12 - . Crew: Everest. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 12. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Everest. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-2 . Summary: Eighth powered flight, premature engine shutdown..

1956 July 23 - .
  • X-2 Flight 13 - . Crew: Everest. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 13. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Everest. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-2 . Summary: Ninth powered flight, Lt. Col. Frank K. Everest (USAF) flew the Bell X-2 rocket-powered research plane at a record speed of Mach 2.87, ust over 1,900 mph, at 20,802 m..

1956 August 3 - .
  • X-2 Flight 14 - . Crew: Kincheloe. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 14. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kincheloe. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-2 . Summary: 10th powered flight, mach 2.5+, 26764 m..

1956 August 8 - .
  • X-2 Flight 15 - . Crew: Kincheloe. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 15. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kincheloe. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-2 . Summary: 11th powered flight, premature engine shutdown..

1956 September 7 - .
  • X-2 Flight 16 - . Crew: Kincheloe. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 16. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kincheloe. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-2 . Summary: 12th powered flight. Capt. Iven C. Kincheloe (USAF) set new unofficial altitude record for manned flight at Edwards AFB, Calif., piloting a Bell X-2 rocket-powered aircraft to a height of 38,491 m, top speed Mach 1.7..

1956 September 27 - .
  • X-2 reaches Mach 3. - . Nation: USA. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-2. After having been launched from a B-50 bomber over the Mojave Desert in California, Capt. Milburn G. Apt (USAF), flying an X-2 rocket-powered plane on its 13th powered flight, set a record speed of 2,094 mph, or Mach 3.196. In the course of the flight the aircraft crashed and the pilot was killed.

1956 September 27 - .
  • X-2 Flight 17 - . Crew: Apt, Milburn. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 17. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Apt, Milburn. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-2 . After having been launched from a B-50 bomber over the Mojave Desert in California, Capt. Milburn G. Apt (USAF), flying an X-2 rocket-powered plane on its 13th powered flight, set a record speed of 3,377 kph, or Mach 3.196 at 19,977 m. Subsequent loss of control from inertial coupling led to the destruction of the aircraft and the death of the pilot.

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