An improvement over the Bell X-1 -- the first plane to break the sound barrier in level flight -- the X-1A was designed to reach Mach 2.0. Initial test flights commenced in January of 1953. On December 12th, test pilot Charles "Chuck" Yeager set a record with the aircraft, reaching a speed of Mach 2.43 at 75,000 feet. In 1954, pilot Maj. Arthur Murray flew the plane to a new altitude record of 90,440 feet.
Roughly a year later, the X-1A was severely damaged by an explosion while strapped to its B-29 mother ship. The plane was jettisoned and destroyed. Variants of the design, including the X-1B, X-1D, and X-1E continued to fly as late as 1958.
Originally printed by the U.S. Air Force and NACA / NASA, this handbook provides a fascinating glimpse inside the cockpit of one of history's great planes.
Classified "Restricted", the manual was declassified. This affordable facsimile has been slightly reformatted. Care has been taken to preserve the integrity of the text.
45 pages, 8.5x11, black and white interior with full color covers, softbound.