Rocket Engine, Liquid Fuel, XLR-11

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    Rocket Engine, Liquid Fuel, XLR-11

    Four (4) thrust cylinders bound together and set in diamond-shaped pattern, with adjoining plumbing and wiring attached on top, including propellant pumps and vertical feed lines, some copper colored, into the cylinder assembly. Internal nozzles within ends of the thrust cylinders. Small red, yellow, and black Reaction Motors, Inc. vertically placed decals on each cylinder, with one missing from one cylinder. Gray, metal color overall, with some black electronic boxes on top and copper connecting lines.

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This is the XLR-11, also called the 6000C-4, one of the most widely used U.S. liquid-propellant rocket engines that powered the Bell X-1 and other rocket research aircraft. Developed by Reaction Motors, Inc. in 1945, it produced a maximum thrust of 6,000 pounds from its four combustion chambers. The engine's most famous application was powering the X-1, the first plane to reach the speed of sound on 14 October 1947.

It was also used in the X-1A, X-1B, X-1D, X-1E, Douglas D-558-1 Skyrocket, and XF-91. Two tandem 6000C-4's served as the Interim Engine for the X-15 from 1960-1961, and it also powered several NASA Lifting Bodies (the HL-10, MS-F3, X-24A, and X-24B). This object was donated to the Smithsonian in 1952 by Reaction Motors, Inc.