The Bell X-9 was a reduced scale testbed for an atomic bomb, air launched missile ordered by the US Air Force in 1947. The X-9 text program was successful but the full scale missile was not, and never entered service.
At the end of World War 2 the United States examined German air-to-surface missile technology and ordered, in May 1947, the B-63 missile to be armed with atomic weapons.
To test the feasibility of this missile a reduced-scale testbed was also ordered, the RTV-A-4 which was later renamed the X-9.
It was launched from a modified B-50 and guided by radio commands from that aircraft.
At the conclusion of each flight the X-9 parachuted to a relatively soft landing.
The first glide test took place in April 1949 and the first successful flight – at the fifth attempt – took place in November 1950.
Thirty-one X-9s were manufactured and tested with the program ending in January 1953
This model represents a standard X-9 in the early 1950s.
Anigrand 1:72 kit, completed by Leigh Edmonds in November 2017.