Transcript Of Air & Ground Communications: XS-1,

October 14 1947

Cardenas: Muroc tower, Air Force Eight Zero Zero taxi instructions.

Tower: B-twenty-nine Eight Zero Zero cleared Runway six. Winds out of East seven miles an hour.

Cardenas: We cleared to roll?

Tower: Roger, cleared to line up and roll.

Swindell(B-29 flight Engineer) :She's all your's, Major.

Cardenas: All right, Swindell?

Cardenas: Rolling.

B-29 left side scanner: Left gear full up, left flap full up. One and two[engines] look clean on the take-off, sir.

B-29 right side scanner: Right gear full up, right flap full up. Three and four look good on the take-off.

Swindell: Roger.

Cardenas: B-twenty-nine Eight Zero Zero to Muroc tower. How do you read me, over?

Tower: Loud and clear.

Swindell: Scanners from engineer, five thousand feet.

Yeager: Check list complete, everything okay.

Ridley: Roger.

Cardenas: B-twenty-nine Eight Zero Zero. Air Force Two Zero One. Hoover, are you guys on the way up?

Hoover: Yeah, boy.

Cardenas: Okay, we're just closing fifteen thousand feet. About twenty south of the lake[Rogers Dry Lake]. Making a right turn now and heading south.

Hoover: Roger.

Frost: You over El mirage [Dry Lake], Carenas?

Cardenas: Coming to the southern end of the lake at sixteen thousand feet.

Frost: I'll be with you soon.

Hoover: Air Force Two Zero One, where are you B-twenty nine?

Cardenas: I am coming around--

Hoover: Okay, I see you now buddy; coming up to you.

Cardenas: Eight Zero Zero, five-minute warning.

Yeager: Okay, Cardenas, loading first stage now. Ridley? Clear to disconnect nitrogen hose and pilot's breathing oxygen?

Ridley: Roger.

Cardenas: Four minutes.

Yeager: Roger, Cardenas; pressurizing fuel tank.

Ridley: Nitrogen hose disconnected. Pilot's breathing oxygen disconnected.

Yeager: Roger, Jack.

NACA Muroc: NACA radar to Air Force Eight Zero Zero, how do you read?

Cardenas: Loud and clear. Three minutes.

Yeager: Pressurizing lox tank. All pressurized.

Frost: Yeager, this is Frost. I'm in position to check your jettison.

Yeager: Roger. Fuel jettison is on.

Frost: Fuel jettison okay.

Yeager: Switch off.

Frost: Shutt-off okay.

Cardenas: Two minutes.

Yeager: Lox jettison switch on. Switch off.

Frost: Lox jettison and shut-off are okay.

NACA Muroc: Was that two minutes B-twenty-nine?

Cardenas: Roger, that was two minutes.

Tower: Muroc Air Force Base to all aircraft. All aircraft stay clear of Muroc Dry Lake area. Test in progress. All aricraft on ground return to parking positions. Repeat: all aircraft stay clear.

Cardenas: B-twenty-nine Eight Zero Zero to NACA radar, Muroc Tower, chase aircraft: one minute.

NACA Muroc: NACA radar to Air Force B-twenty-nine Eight Zero Zero. You are clear to drop.

Cardenas: Roger.

Ridley: Yeager, this is Ridley. You all set?

Yeager: Hell, yes, let's get it over with.

Ridley: Remember those stabilizer settings.

Yeager: Roger.

Cardenas: Eight Zero Zero. Here is your countdown: 10--9--8--7--6--5--3--2--1--Drop[note: Cardenas omitted "4" in the drop count; launch occurred at 10:26am as the B-29 was flying at 20,000 feet and an indicated airspeed of 250mph].

Yeager: Firing four[rocket chamber #4]. . . Four fired okay. . . will fire two. . . Two on. . . will cut off Four. . . Four off. . . will fire Three. . . Three burning now. . . will shut off Two and fire One. . . One on. . . will fire Two again. . . Two on. . . will fire Four.

Ridley: How much of a drop[in chamber pressure]?

Yeager: About forty psi. . . got a rich mixture. . . chamber pressures down. . . now going up again. . . pressures all normal. . . will fire Three again. . . Three on. . . acceleration good. . . have had mild buffet. . . usual instability. Say, Ridley, make a note here. Elevator effectiveness regained[as he passed an indicated Mach number of 0.96].

Ridley: Roger. noted.

Yeager: Ridley! Make another note. There's something wrong with this Machmeter. Its gone screwy!

Ridley: If it is, we'll fix it. Personally, I think you're seeing things.

Yeager: I guess I am, Jack. . will shut down again. . . am shutting off. . . shut off. . . still going upstairs like a bat. . . have jettisoned fuel and lox. . . about thirty percent of each remaining. . . still going up. . . have shut off now.

Source: X-1 file, National Air & Space Museum.

X1 Technical Specifications

Length: 30'11

Wingspan: 28'0"

Height: 10'10"

Accomodation: 1[Pilot]

Gross weight: [46-062 with 8% T/C wing] 12,250 Ibs.

Empty weight: [46-062 with 8% T/C wing] 7,000 Ibs.

Powerplant: Reaction motors, Inc [RMI] XLR11-RM-3 four chamber rocket motor developing 6,000 Ibsof thrust [1,500 Ibs. per chamber]. Fuel was liquid oxygen [lox] and diluted ethyl alcohol. The engine weighed 345 Ibs.

The engine had no throttle, thrust only being variable by igniting and shutting down of the individual rocket chambers [0%-25%-50%-75%-100% thrust].

Range: 5 minutes powered endurance.

Maximum altitude: 71,902 feet

Maximum speed: Mach 1.45 [957mph]

Chuck Yeager went on to fly the X-1 thirty-four times, establishing the maximum speed for that aircraft of Mach 1.45 on March 26th 1948. The maximum altitude achieved for the original X-1 series was 71902 feet by Frank Everest on July 25th 1949. Yeager also went on to make the only ground launch of an X-designated rocket powered airplane on 5th January 1949, climbing to 23,000 feet and Mach 1.03 after only eighty seconds of powered flight!

Click on the images below to view cutaway and plan drawings of the Bell X-1.

View the plan drawing for the Bell X-1 View the cutaway drawing for the Bell X-1


Derek Horne
53 Skibo Court
Dunfermline KY12 7EW
United Kingdom

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