Monday, May 26, 2008

Bell X-16 3-view

Bell X-16 overhead plan
Bell X-=16 patent plans

As Soviet air defences increased in the early 1950s, overflights by propeller-driven aircraft became increasingly dangerous, and even jets such as the B-45 and Canberra were becoming vulnerable. This led to efforts to design strategic reconnaissance machines that could operate at extreme altitudes above the ceiling of Soviets fighters. Bell offered a machine powered by two of the new Pratt & Whitney J57s mounted under a slightly swept wing. Altitude performance was to be in excess of 70,000 feet. Bell's proposal won out over rival designs from Martin and Lockheed, but when the first example was over three-quarters complete, the USAF cancelled procurement, opting instead for a wide-span derivative of the B-57.

Thanks for visiting!
Most images are clickable for larger versions