Loading the Bell X-1 aboard the B29 mother ship to be carried aloft required that the research ship be lowered into a pit and the B-29 then rolled over the smaller plane so that it could be hoisted into its bomb bay. Later, a system of hydraulic jacks was used to raise the mother ship.
On 14 October 1947, just under a month after the United States Air Force had been created as a separate service, the tests culminated in the first manned supersonic flight, piloted by Air Force Captain Charles "Chuck" Yeager in aircraft #46-062, which he had christened Glamorous Glennis after his wife. The rocket-powered aircraft was launched from the bomb bay of a specially modified B-29 and glided to a landing on a runway. XS-1 flight number 50 is the first one where the X-1 recorded supersonic flight, at Mach 1.06 (361 m/s, 1,299 km/h, 807.2 mph) peak speed.
By kjfitz @ 2008-03-13 17:06:23