- For Ages: 14+
- Availability: In Stock
- Price: $129.97
Item Description- Wing Span: 13"
- Length: 16.25"
The Bell X-2 Starbuster was a rocket-powered, swept-wing research aircraft built to investigate the structural effects of aerodynamic heating as well as stability and control effectiveness at high speeds and altitudes. The program was developed jointly in 1945 by Bell Aircraft Corporation, the United States Air Force and the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) to explore aerodynamic problems of supersonic flight, and to expand the speed and altitude regimes obtained with the earlier X-1 series of research aircraft. Providing adequate stability and control for aircraft flying at high supersonic speeds was only one of the major difficulties facing flight researchers as they approached Mach 3. For speeds in that region, they knew they would also begin to encounter a “thermal barrier”, severe heating effects caused by aerodynamic friction. Constructed of stainless steel and a copper-nickel alloy, and powered by a two-chamber XLR25 2,500 to 15,000 lbf (11 to 67 kN) thrust throttleable rocket engine, the X-2 was designed to probe this region. While the X-2 exceeded Mach 3, in the course of doing so it uncovered the supersonic aircraft problem of inertial coupling. On its last flight, the aircraft crashed and the pilot was killed.
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