October 14, 1947 – Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier

A small stretch from the automotive world, but quite amazing nonetheless, it was on this day in 1947 WWII combat pilot Chuck Yeager became the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound. Yeager found himself in such a quick seat as he volunteered to be a test pilot for Bell Aircraft Company following the end of the war. Bell was building an experimental X-1 rocket plane. Flying over Rogers Dry Lake in Southern California, Yeager was situated in the cockpit of an X-1 nicknamed Glamorous Glennis after his wife. The experimental plane was lifted to 25,000 feet by a B-29 aircraft and then released through the bomb bay. He then shot upward to 40,000 feet and exceeded 662 mph, which is the sound barrier for that altitude. In 1953 Yeager flew an X-1A at a speed of 1,650 miles per hour. He continued his Air Force career, retiring in 1975 with the rank of brigadier general. Pics:Chuck Yeager with the X-1The Bell X-1 in flightPhotos via public domain

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