Up Close and Personal with the Supersonic Bell X-1 Rocket Plane

Slide inside the cockpit with this gallery of the famous "Glamorous Glennis" Bell X-1 rocket plane that first broke the sound barrier.

Dan Carney, Senior Editor

October 26, 2020

26 Slides

Most of us are familiar with the bright orange, bullet-shaped Bell X-1 rocketship that legendary test pilot Chuck Yeager used to break the sound barrier for the first time on Oct. 14, 1947. Some of us may recall seeing the flight re-enacted in the fantastic film, “The Right Stuff,” which seems to be a mostly accurate portrayal of the event.

But the Bell X-1 that Yeager flew has hung from the rafters of the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum since it opened in 1976, so we couldn’t see many of the plane’s details up close.

Fortunately, Smithsonian has helped bring us closer to the famous plane by releasing photos for us to enjoy.


About the Author(s)

Dan Carney

Senior Editor, Design News

Dan’s coverage of the auto industry over three decades has taken him to the racetracks, automotive engineering centers, vehicle simulators, wind tunnels, and crash-test labs of the world.

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