Bell X-9 Shrike

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Bell X-9 on its trailer

The Bell X-9 Shrike was a prototype surface-to-air, liquid-fueled guided missile designed by Bell Aircraft as a testbed for the nuclear-armed GAM-63 RASCAL. It is named after the shrike, a family of birds.


Thirty-one X-9 rockets were delivered, flying from April 1949 to January 1953. The program was used to gather aerodynamic and stability data, and to test guidance and propulsion systems for the RASCAL.[1]

None of the missiles survived testing. The only known remaining fragment of an X-9 is part of a vertical stabilizer, at the Larry Bell Museum in Mentone, Indiana.[2]

Specifications (X-9)[edit]

General characteristics:

  • Length: 22 ft 9 in (6.9 m)
  • Wingspan: 7 ft 10 in (2.4 m)
  • Diameter: 1 ft 10 in (0.56 m)
  • Wing area: 70 ft2 (6.5 m2)
  • Weight (empty): 2,125 lb (964 kg)
  • Weight (loaded): 3,500 lb (1,588 kg)
  • Propulsion: Bell XLR65-BA-1 liquid-fuel rocket engine, 3,000 lbf (13.3 kN) thrust


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Yenne, Bill (2018). A Complete History of U.S. Cruise Missiles. Forest Lake, MN: Specialty Press. p. 61. ISBN 978-1-58007-256-4.
  2. ^ Jenkins, Dennis R.; Landis, Tony; Miller, Jay. "AMERICAN X-VEHICLES Centennial of Flight Edition SP-2003-4531 An Inventory—X-1 to X-50" (PDF). p. 15. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2020-04-25. Retrieved 5 December 2021.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Bell X-9 at Wikimedia Commons