Bell, Lawrence (Dale)(1894–1956) aircraft designer; born in Mentone, Ind. He began as an airplane mechanic, then worked in management for several companies including Glenn Martin. In 1935 he organized the Bell Aircraft Corporation which produced helicopters, guided missiles, and other aircraft. In 1947 he designed the X-1, the first rocket-propelled airplane, in which Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.