At the time of their walking just a rumor, and some commoners under the influence of television and the press perceive their UFO. Partially it was: unidentified uninitiated, they were on the verge of modern technologies and conceptual thoughts.
There are several planes, marked by the emblem «X», which became an integral part of American aviation history, and then the world. First standards appeared in the 1940s, and to develop machines was to enable man to fly higher, further and faster. Including military purposes. «Pioneer» was Bell X-1, designed to overcome the sound barrier. Since that time, the whole time stretching squadron moved my verge of aerodynamics and aircraft — from supersonic speeds to unmanned flight.
Original title Bell X-1, which became the «grandfather» all similar projects, — XS-1. The first time he overcame the speed of sound (about 330 m / s, is dependent on the conditions of the medium) October 14, 1947 during the 50th flight. On the machine was installed 50-caliber gun. During operation of the XS-1 was found to supersonic velocity need for special tailplane. In the earliest trials plane from time to time did not respond to control, since around the elevators could be created aerodynamic «shadow.»
Bell X-5 was a continuation of the previous project and included improvements such as differentiable sweep wings. Reduced their area leads to lower resistance in the transition to supersonic speed, but also meant the smallest lift force, which led to the dilemmas with the maneuverability and landing. Yield and become dynamically modifiable during flight scale. In 1951, the Bell X-5 was the first aircraft with a similar design. Wing sweep varied from 20 ° to 60 °.
One of the most famous aircraft, X-15 as before holds the speed record. First flight took place in 1959, the last — 199th — in 1969. Four years after the start of the test pilot Joe Walker (Joe Walker) reached the height of 107.96 km. Handy, almost four years, the 10-ka, before the aircraft (except missiles) rose even higher. Relay conquest height defected to SpaceShipOne, which in 2004 rose to 109.7 km. In 1967, Pete Knight (Pete Knight) set another unimaginable at the time a record for a man managed mc — flight speed was Mach 6.7 (about 7,300 km / h). This mark to this day remains an irresistible bar for winged machines. In the X-15 used titanium and inconel, and to control the aircraft used on the height of cosmic low-thrust engines, as aerodynamics due to the rarefied atmosphere did not act well. Such engines are now being used in ships of cosmic.
Not all aircraft series «X» were designed frisky and able to fly as high as possible. Hiller X-18 developed for testing the ability of vertical takeoff and landing. First flight occurred in 1959. Life of this extraordinary machine lasted for two years, and in 1961, after 20 flights «career» X-18 ended. Prerequisite served design flaw screws, which led to the incident to the entrance of inverted spin. The pilot survived but programm forthcoming revision was canceled. Yet, X-18 and the subsequent X-19 and X-22 served as a good basis for the system of vertical takeoff and landing.
Developed from the Boeing X-20 or X-20 Dynasoar, — it is the case that all who went on hearing the plane never left the hangar. He was supposed to be a reusable manned orbital vehicle. In 1960, for managing the X-20 pilots chosen few, one of which came Neil Armstrong (Neil Armstrong) — the first man on the moon. Tests scheduled for the end of the decade. But in 1963, when resources are beginning to take of cosmic programm Gemini, another project «X» covered. But engineers in the development of thermal protection and used to date.
Martin-Marietta X-24 — a family of machines created within the research concept «aircraft wing.» Instead of ordinary wings to generate lift used shape of the fuselage. Models were more successful X-24A and X-24B flight which carried out during 1960-1970. Due to the aircraft thought «wingless» the aircraft has been recognized for a viable and promising of cosmic unmanned missions. Most of the results of the project one way or another used in the development of cosmic shuttles.
Grumman X-29 — one of the more exciting aircraft are typical testing ground for various thoughts. First flight took place in 1984. Just attracts more attention, of course, standard accommodation wings. But on the X-29 were also tested composite materials frontal plumage and electronic computerized control system instead of hydraulics, lent huge aircraft reliability and maneuverability. Deployed wings are not recognized, but the project has permitted to better understand the aerodynamics and see the benefits of electronics for military vehicles.
In Rockwell / Messerschmitt X-31 continued incarnation thoughts about giving combat aircraft maneuverability, including through vectored thrust. Fighters may be unstable at low speeds, because with the purpose to improve the aircraft for close combat, such as flight mode may need engineers proposed to control the direction of the jet exit. Applying three huge fins similar to the device at the end of the nozzle, the developers have gained the ability to control the thrust vector and the plane was able to maneuver at huge angles of attack. 1st Test X-31 took place in 1990.
X-43 was created to bring high-speed characteristics of the aircraft to the next level. In 2004, a large-scale unmanned model accelerated to Mach 9.8 (about 12,000 km / h). The design used air-jet engine (WFD), which, unlike the rocket, uses oxygen from the atmosphere and will not be watery gas supplies. Hydrogen fuel reacts with oxygen in the combustion chamber at supersonic speeds. Devices with the WFD and at the moment are part of programs from NASA Hyper-X. It is understood that at one point the aircraft based on this design will transport people at a rate 10 times greater than the sound.
Above the X-45 — one of the last aircraft on which fighter tested technology — the company operates Boeing. Machine, the first flight took place in 2002, shows the merits in the field of unmanned control. In one test missions only operator controlled descent two X-45. How was fixed ground target hardware led, which of the aircraft is in a profitable position for the attack, and the operator was granted a respective choice. X-45 represents a new step in the development of military aviation, since there is no need to worry about the safety of the pilots.