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# Bell X1 ... random thought d'jour ...

## Bell X1 ... random thought d'jour ...

(OP)
I wonder why they designed it with straight wings. I'd've thought that they had access (thru Operation Paperclip) to the German research which showed the advantages of swept wings ?

### RE: Bell X1 ... random thought d'jour ...

SWAG...

Start with what you know how to build, IE: thin straight wing.

TEST.

THEN evolve to what is new and uncertain... such as the structure of swept wings and stabilizers?

Regards, Wil Taylor
o Trust - But Verify!
o We believe to be true what we prefer to be true. [Unknown]
o For those who believe, no proof is required; for those who cannot believe, no proof is possible. [variation,Stuart Chase]
o Unfortunately, in science what You 'believe' is irrelevant. ["Orion", Homebuiltairplanes.com forum]

### RE: Bell X1 ... random thought d'jour ...

From Wikipedia:

#### Quote:

Conceived during 1944 and designed and built in 1945...
Before paperclip or any captured information could spread.

### RE: Bell X1 ... random thought d'jour ...

(OP)
thx, expected it was post ww2, since flights into '47.

### RE: Bell X1 ... random thought d'jour ...

(OP)
this from wiki, regarding the Miles M.52 ...
"According to senior figures at Miles, the design and the research gained from the M.52 was shared with the American company Bell Aircraft, and that this was applied to their own Bell X-1, a ground-breaking high-speed prototype aircraft which broke the sound barrier."
This was designed in '42-'45, so pre-German research, and has a straight wing. Apparently scale models went supersonic (M 1.38) and controllable; but the project was cancelled.

### RE: Bell X1 ... random thought d'jour ...

As with anything, the history is actually not that straightforward. There were parallel paths going on and tons of research being done, even by different groups inside the US.

The idea of swept wings actually goes back a few years before WWII even. The first real proposal was by a German, Adolf Busemann. But then it wasn't a German trade secret... he proposed the idea at an international conference in 1935. For whatever reason, it didn't get much attention.

But then there was also Max Munk who had been working at NACA since the 1920's who had also theorized about it. This eventually led to Robert Jones at Langley proposing swept wings independently. This was in 1944, before any German research came to light after WWII. It wasn't known by the Americans at that time, but Busemann and the Germans had taken the idea and run with it in development on their own and were well ahead.

Nobody really took Jones too seriously until after the German research was discovered.

I say there were parallel paths in some sense because even within the US, the problem of compressibility and how to study aerodynamics in the transonic region was already being looked at, even in the early 40's. John Stack essentially devoted his whole early career to that, basically starting in the mid 1930's. His team did eventually develop slotted throat wind tunnels capable of accurate transonic measurements, but we was also a huge supported of the X-1 program because it was developed to be a TRANSONIC research vehicle.

Again, this was before the floodgates of research related to swept wings. So the concept was known to the Americans at the time, but not well understood enough to implement into the X1.

Soon after Richard Whitcomb came on to John Stack's team and his "area rule" in conjunction to the swept and delta wing ideas is what really defined the iconography of the centennial series aircraft.

Keep em' Flying
//Fight Corrosion!

### RE: Bell X1 ... random thought d'jour ...

I personally believe that was the real 'coup' for the X-1... other-than attaining consistent SS flight... was the development/testing of the all-moving stabilizer.

Also, as I recall... the original horizontal stabilizer was 'conventional' = stabilizer + elevator... which proved to be inadequate, IE: too flexible and flutter-prone... at transonic and above. The ingenious solution proved to be a very stiff/strong 'all-moveable 1-piece all-moving stabilizer' driven by hydraulics and with artificial feel system. Easy-Peasy...

The NEXT generation X-planes developed/proved SS flight with turbojet engines... by solving the inlet shock and stagnation problems.

Regards, Wil Taylor
o Trust - But Verify!
o We believe to be true what we prefer to be true. [Unknown]
o For those who believe, no proof is required; for those who cannot believe, no proof is possible. [variation,Stuart Chase]
o Unfortunately, in science what You 'believe' is irrelevant. ["Orion", Homebuiltairplanes.com forum]

### RE: Bell X1 ... random thought d'jour ...

Pretty sure the all-moving tail was the principal aspect of the design which came from "sharing" data with Miles as RB alluded to

#### Quote (rb1957)

According to senior figures at Miles, the design and the research gained from the M.52 was shared with the American company Bell Aircraft, and that this was applied to their own Bell X-1

The variable incident tail was already developed for the M.52 when Bell was still having problems. I say "shared" in quotes because I seem to remember the research exchange only went one way. Although I'm not sure of all the details.

Keep em' Flying
//Fight Corrosion!

### RE: Bell X1 ... random thought d'jour ...

(OP)
yep, Miles figured out the flying tail, and Bell "expropriated" it.

### RE: Bell X1 ... random thought d'jour ...

The Wright Brothers figured out the full flying control surfaces.

### RE: Bell X1 ... random thought d'jour ...

(OP)
true, but then everyone forgot when we discovered elevators.

But Miles figured out the benefit of a flying tail as it relates to supersonic aircraft.

### RE: Bell X1 ... random thought d'jour ...

EVERY Acft that has been designed/flown transonic, and above, since early 1950s has had a 100% rigid all-moving stabilizer sans [= without] elevators.

The earliest F-series jet fighters [P-80, F-84, F-86, F-94, etc used stabs with elevators for low speed and high AOA maneuvering... but also had [to have] trimmable stabilizers for high MACH handling.

Transport aircraft capable of flying close to transonic have all-moveable stabilizers with coordinated elevators... and tend to accomplish autopilot trimming of the stabilizer alone... with the elevators effectively locked out by mechanical or aero methods as Mach rises close to 0.9. Also because of wing aeroelastic issues… these same Acft 'lock-out' their ailerons above certain Mach numbers and fly exclusively with roll-coordinated spoilers.

And then, in the 1960s the designers figured-out that these all moving stabs could be enlarged and independently/actuated/coordinated for pitch, roll and yaw... locking-out ailerons and rudders to avoid wing aeroelastic issues at SS.

My dad was an early post WWII jet pilot... he remembered flying up-to/slightly past Mach 1 in T-33s and F-94Cs... and feeling the flight controls 'tighten' and then begin-to 'buzz'... not a pleasant feeling, but necessary training... and every Tail# Acft he flew SAME type/model... usually/oddly had it's own 'quirks/feel'.

My head hurts, knowing the genius of the designers [and fortitude of the test pilots], who did all development this BEFORE computing and modeling became the norm.

Regards, Wil Taylor
o Trust - But Verify!
o We believe to be true what we prefer to be true. [Unknown]
o For those who believe, no proof is required; for those who cannot believe, no proof is possible. [variation,Stuart Chase]
o Unfortunately, in science what You 'believe' is irrelevant. ["Orion", Homebuiltairplanes.com forum]

### RE: Bell X1 ... random thought d'jour ...

(OP)
yes, I know ... I was only replyig the 3DDave.

yes, our father's (and our grandfather's) generation could whoop our a ... until we asked them to text something, or video on the phone ...

### RE: Bell X1 ... random thought d'jour ...

"did all development this BEFORE computing and modeling became the norm."

But we couldn't do much with computing and modeling before we had test data to guide/anchor the models.

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