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Bell X-1

Bell X-1 Book Review

By Rachel E. Veres

Date of Review December 2016 Title Bell X-1
Author Peter E. Davies Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2016 ISBN 9781472814647
Format 80 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $20.00


The advent of jet and rocket propulsion, swept wings and regularly broken speed records caught the post-World War II public's imagination.

The challenges necessitated military research aircraft for achieving "transonic" speeds. Now Bell X-1 – first in Osprey's new "X Planes" series – chronicles the first and best known of these: Bell's XS-1, a design modeled on a .50 caliber bullet and the vehicle in which Captain Charles "Chuck" Yeager broke the "sound barrier" in 1947.

After a brief introduction, author Peter E. Davies recaps X-1 program history from its origins to developments giving the aircraft critical controllability at supersonic speeds. He concludes with variants aimed at exploring Mach 2 flight régimes.

Over sixty photographs, color profiles and cutaways by Jim Laurier, and artwork by Gareth Hector complement Davies' narrative. A selected bibliography and index complete contents.

Highly recommended!

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!