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Rocket Engine, Liquid Fuel, XLR-11


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

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.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


Credit Line

Reaction Motors, Inc.


Overall Steel, Adhesive, Synthetic Fabric, Stainless Fabric, Copper, Aluminum, Paint, Stainless Steel, Brass


  • Overall: 24 × 56 1/2 in., 210lb. (61 × 143.5cm, 95.3kg)
  • Storage (Artex Crate): 91.4 × 177.8 × 91.4cm (36 × 70 × 36 in.)
  • Approximate (Weighed with Stand): 182.3kg (402lb.)

Country of Origin

United States of America


ca. 1945-1953


PROPULSION-Rocket Engines

Inventory Number


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