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The Bell X-16 and the Lockheed U-2

Ok, let’s get this out of the way to start with: There never was an X-16 aircraft. There was a program to develop it and a mockup was constructed, but the program was cancelled before a real aircraft was built. So, the astute reader will have figured out what I’m...

The Boundaries Push Back: The Bell X-2

The development and flying of the Bell X-1 was no picnic, but in the newly formed USAF’s hands it raced through test objectives: breaking records, setting standards and un-shrouding the mysteries of supersonic flight. By the end of the forties, it, and aircraft...

The Bell X-1, Mach 1 or Bust

WW2 demonstrated the importance of air superiority even before the phrase had been invented. Everyone knew that the advantage was gained through speed, so even before the war had ended the US Army Air Force had placed a contract with Bell to build three “Experimental...

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