The X-1, built by Bell, was the first of the highly secretive American “X-planes” that tested out new technologies. Indeed, the X-1 was the very first aircraft to break the sound barrier in level flight. Development started in 1945, and it was inspired by the shape of a Browning .50-cal machine gun round that was known to be stable in supersonic flight. Essentially, the Bell X-1 was a bullet with wings, propelled by a four-chamber rocket engine. The first supersonic test flight occurred on October 14, 1947 with Captain Chuck Yeager at the controls, and he achieved a speed of Mach 1.06 (1,299km/h) in X-1-1 (serial number 46-062), a plane that he had christened “Glamorous Glennis” after his wife’s name. The final flight of this Bell X-1 took place on October 23, 1951 and this ground- and sound-breaking aircraft is now on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.
Dragon is offering another fine 1/144 scale model of the Bell X-1 as part of its Warbirds aircraft collection. An earlier release (Item No.51021) showed the X-1 as it appeared in its record-breaking supersonic flight. The new release differs in that it shows 46-062 as it looked during its final flight in 1951. The new set features two complete X-1 aircraft models. The first is a standard replica of this supersonic craft, while the second has a transparent fuselage that shows off the “innards” of the unique X-1. Both fully built-up and finely painted models are masterfully recreated in miniature. They also come with a sleek display stand made of metal that allows both models to be displayed “flying” together. This is an impressive set, and with two models and the stand included, it offers unbeatable value!