Two X-2 rocket-powered research aircraft built to explore the problems of transonic and supersonic flight. The second aircraft made the first powered flight on 18 November 1955 but was destroyed in a fatal crash on 27 September 1956 after a flight that had achieved an unprecedented Mach 3.2.
Bell X-2 on YOUTUBE
1 x Curtiss-Wright XLR25-CW-1 rocket engine, 6804kg
32 ft 0 in
44 ft 0 in
14 ft 6 in
A three-view drawing (1274 x 838)
Bob Horn, e-mail, 19.08.2015 01:27
Notwithstanding the inclination of a Bell "loyalist" to shift the blame, IIRC, the actual cause of the loss of the X-2 after its record-breaking excursion to Mach 3+ was inertial coupling, which might indeed have been avoided by making the fuselage a "wee bit longer" than it was, plus a larger fin and /or ventral stabilizer,and thus providing better longitudinal stability. Try as I might, can't recall any other craft with either a greater fineness ratio eg. F-104, SR-71, or ventral stab, eg. X-15, Mig-25, F-8U,and F-104 (again!) etc., etc.,spinning out of control at high mach numbers!
I was a Bell employee and was involved in the X-2 flight test program at EAFB. I will never forget the day that Mel Apt died in that crash. It could have and should have been avoided but for pilot error. Sad but true.