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This is NASA's X-1E, a plane that was part of a series of planes -- including Chuck Yeager's X-1 -- that were early leaders in the supersonic flight race. According to NASA, "The X-1E, the last of the X-1 aircraft series, was used to obtain in-flight data at twice the speed of sound, with particular emphasis placed on investigating the improvements achieved with the high-speed wing. The airplane was the first aircraft to fly supersonically with a 4 percent wing

Dryden Flight Research Center 1975. Test pilot Tom McMurtry in front of the X-24B test aircraft.

X24B research plane at Dryden A.F. base

Front view of XF-104 with Lockheed test pilot Tony LeVier. (U.S. Air Force photo) via: nationalmuseum.af...

Grumman X-29 experimental aircraft built in 1984 by Grumman for NASA to test the concept of forward sweeping wings.

Test pilot in front of X-15 rocket plane