Edwards AFB Bell X-1 Vintage aviation artwork
Edwards Air Force Base Bell X-1 poster. The X-1 was the first aircraft to exceed the speed of sound in level flight and was the first of the so-called X-planes, a series of American experimental rocket planes designated for testing of new technologies and often kept secret.
The Bell X-1 was a joint NACA-U.S. Army Air Forces-U.S. Air Force supersonic research project built by the Bell Aircraft Company. Conceived in 1944 and designed and built during 1945, it reached nearly 1,000 M.P.H. in 1948. On October 14th 1947, just under a month after the U.S. Air Force had been created as a separate service, the tests reached their peak with the 1st manned supersonic flight, piloted by Air Force Captain Charles “Chuck” Yeager.