Bell X-5

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Bell X-5
Multiple exposure of a Bell X-5
Type: Experimental airplane
Design country:

United StatesUnited States United States


Bell Aircraft Corporation

First flight:

June 20, 1951


Flight tests ended in 1958

Production time:

Was never mass-produced

Number of pieces:


The Bell X-5 was a single - seat, jet - powered experimental aircraft that was developed in the United States . It was used to research the change in wing sweep during flight.

The starting point of the development was the German jet aircraft Messerschmitt P. 1101 from the Second World War , on which the basic concept of fuselage and tail unit was based. However, on the P. 1101 the wing sweep could only be changed on the ground, while on the X-5 this was also possible in flight. The X-5 was the first real swing-wing aircraft in the world. In order to maintain the position of the center of gravity , the wings of the X-5 could also be moved lengthways.

The X-5 was from a single Allison -Strahltriebwerk J35-A-17 driven. The engine inlet and outlet were located under the fuselage.

Two copies of the X-5 were built. The first flight took place on June 20, 1951. On October 14, 1953, one of the two machines crashed. The pilot was killed. In 1955 the test program was discontinued. The remaining machine is now in the National Museum of the US Air Force on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton , Ohio .

The knowledge gained from the X-5 research project later led to aircraft such as the General Dynamics F-111 , the Grumman F-14 or the Rockwell B-1 . Other states also later put swing-wing aircraft into service. These include the European Panavia Tornado and the Soviet MiG-23 , Su-17 , Su-24 , Tu-22M or Tu-160 models .

Technical specifications

  • Wing sweep: adjustable between 20 ° and 60 °
  • Span: between 6.32 m and 10.21 m (depending on the sweep)
  • Length: 10.16 m
  • Max. Takeoff weight: 4,400 kg
  • Static thrust: 21.8 kN
  • Top speed: 1,150 km / h

See also

Web links

Commons : Bell X-5  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Description on p. 11. (PDF; 1.2 MB) Retrieved on January 14, 2013 .