Air Pictorial 1956-11
R.Cross - Bell X-1E and X-2
The mother plane is raised on hydraulic jacks while the X-2 is trundled beneath on its handling trolly. Note B-50's built-up belly structure enclosing X-2's open cockpit. Pylons beneath B-50's inner wings steady the X-2.
Snug under the B-50's belly. Note X-2's wingtip skids.
SUPERSONIC Bell X-1E is original X-1 6063 rebuilt with new thin (4 per cent) wing made by Stanley Aviation Corporation and revised Skyrocket-type canopy. Fuel capacity is increased by employing turbine pumps in place of nitrogen to force the fuel to the motor (as in other later X-1 variants); an ejection seat is fitted. It is hoped the thin wing will permit higher speeds than attained by the Mach 2.5 X-1A.
Flight view of X-2 shows reworking around rocket efflux, underwing skids inboard instead of at tips, and blunt trailing edges to thick ailerons. Speed brakes are on rear fuselage sides. Motor is throttlable Curtiss-Wright two-barrel rocket of 15,000-lb. s.t. Span 32 ft. ; length 44 ft. including nose probe; height 13 ft. 6 in. (belly to fin-tip).
Details of the 126,000-ft. ceiling, 1,900-m.p.h. X-2 (the second, remaining, model of which was unfortunately destroyed recently) are shown in the three-view drawing.