Messerschmitt P.1101 / Bell X-5

1st Flight Bell X-5 1951 / Messerschmitt P.1101, Not flown

The Bell X-5 was the first aircraft capable of changing the sweep of its wings in flight.

It was inspired by the untested wartime P.1101 design of the German Messerschmitt Company.

In contrast with the German design, which could only have its wing sweepback angle adjusted on the ground, the Bell engineers devised a system of electric motors to adjust the sweep in flight.

Specifications

X-5

Crew: 1

Length: 33 ft 4 in (10.16 m)

Wingspan: 30 ft 6 in (9.30 m)

Lower wingspan: 20 ft 9 in (6.32 m) swept at 60° sweep

Height: 12 ft 0 in (3.66 m)

Wing area: 175 sq ft (16.3 m2)

Airfoil: root: NACA 64A011; tip: NACA 64A08

Empty weight: 6,350 lb (2,880 kg)

Gross weight: 9,875 lb (4,479 kg)

Powerplant: 1 × Allison J35-A-17A turbojet engine, 4,900 lbf (22 kN) thrust at sea level

Performance

Maximum speed: 705 mph (1,135 km/h, 613 kn)

Range: 750 mi (1,210 km, 650 nmi)

Service ceiling: 42,000 ft (13,000 m)

Thrust/weight: 0.5.

Messerschmitt P.1101

Crew: 1

Length: 9.18 m (30 ft 1 in)

Wingspan: 8.25 m (27 ft 1 in)

Height: 3.71 m (12 ft 2 in)

Wing area: 15.9 m2 (171 sq ft)

Aspect ratio: 4.29

Airfoil: root: NACA 00011.41-1.1-40; tip: NACA 00009-1.1-40

Empty weight: 2,594 kg (5,719 lb)

Gross weight: 4,065 kg (8,962 lb)

Max take-off weight: 4,500 kg (9,921 lb)

Fuel capacity: 1,250 kg (2,756 lb) / 1,432 l (378 US gal; 315 imp gal)

Powerplant: 1 × Heinkel HeS 011A turbojet engine, 12.01 kN (2,700 lbf) thrust

Performance

Maximum speed: 980 km/h (610 mph, 530 kn) at 7,000 m (22,966 ft) (estimated)

Maximum speed: Mach 0.8

Cruise speed: 905 km/h (562 mph, 489 kn)

Landing speed: 172 km/h (107 mph; 93 kn) (with ⅓ fuel aboard)

Range: 1,500 km (930 mi, 810 nmi)

Service ceiling: 14,000 m (46,000 ft)

Rate of climb: 22.2 m/s (4,370 ft/min) at sea level

Time to altitude: 10,000 m (32,808 ft) in 9 minutes 30 seconds

Wing loading: 296.5 kg/m2 (60.7 lb/sq ft) maximum

Take-off run: 709 m (775 yd)

Landing run: 572 m (625 yd)

Armament

Guns: 4 × 30mm MK 108 cannons on production aircraft

Missiles: 4 × Ruhrstahl X-4 air-to-air missiles on production aircraft.

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