The plane that broke the sound barrier is now breaking ground inside the Stafford Air and Space Museum.
Due to arrive this month, the newest exhibit to be permanently featured inside the Stafford Museum, is the highly anticipated, high-fidelity, full scale replica of the Bell X-1. Nicknamed the “Glamorous Glennis” and flown by Pilot Chuck Yeager, the X-1 broke the sound barrier, reaching speeds of over 950 mph in October 1947.
The complete Bell X-1 exhibit is made possible by funding from General Tom Stafford. The Stafford Air and Space Museum will oversee installing and displaying of the replica once it arrives at the museum.
The replica is being built by Arizona Aircraft Replicas, in Scottsdale, AZ. It is modeled after the actual X-1, using the aircraft’s original blueprints. The real X-1 is currently on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. The museum’s replica will also feature a mannequin of Pilot Chuck Yeager in the cockpit. The Bell X-1 replica will weigh approximately 2,000lbs.
The museum has been preparing for the addition of the X-1 since last November when General Stafford requested the replica be included in the museum. The location of the X-1 will be in the Modern Aircraft Gallery joining the four actual airplanes, including a Russian MiG-21 Fighter Jet, as the final gallery in the museum. It will be suspended from the ceiling and will have a full interpretation and exhibit below it.
A grand opening of the Bell X-1 exhibit is planned for later this year once the exhibit is near completion.