A number of massive stars of early type is found in X-ray binary systems. The catalog of Bradt et al. (1979) contains 21 sources optically identified with massive stars ranging in spectral type from 06 to B5 out of which 13 are (nearly) unevolved stars and 8 are supergiants. Single stars of this type generally show moderate to strong stellar winds. The X-rays in these binaries originate from accretion onto a compact companion (we restrict the discussion to this type of X-rays).
We consider the compact star as a probe traveling through the stellar wind. This probe enables us to derive useful information about the mass outflow of massive stars.
After presenting the basic data we derive an upper limit to mass loss rates of unevolved early type stars by studying X-ray pulsars. Next we consider theoretical predictions concerning the influence of X-rays on the stellar wind and compare these with the observations. Finally, using new data from IUE, we draw some conclusions about mass loss rates and velocity laws as derived from X-ray binaries.