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Today we’re looking at the Bell X-2, the first aircraft to exceed Mach 3. Designed to explore these high speeds and the use of swept wings, it became notorious for being behind schedule, overbudget, and dangerous. Both aircraft were lost in two horrific accidents that brought much scrutiny on the handling of the program by the USAF.

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Pelletier.A.J (1992), Bell Aircraft Since 1935.
Davies.B.E (2017), Bell X-2 (X-Planes Series).
NACA (1951), Lift and drag coefficients for the Bell X-1 airplane (Research Memorandum).

Online Sources:

Air Drawing 60: Bell X-2 inboard profile & elevation

Video Footage Courtesy Of:
Mach 2: D-558-2 and X-2 DVD (buy it here -https://spacemonkey-models.myshopify.com/products/mach-2-d-558-2-and-x-2-dvd)

0:00 Intro
3:44 Design Origins
7:20 Bell Model 52 (The X-2 is born)
8:42 Aerofoil Design
10:50 Control Systems
12:49 “Escape” System (More of a suggestion, really…)
15:39 Heat Management
17:30 Rocket Motor Development
19:57 Flight Testing Begins
21:55 The First X-2 Is Lost
23:33 The Path To Mach 3
25:45 Success & Disaster