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65 Years Beyond Mach 1: Anniversary of the First Supersonic Flight

65 years ago today, Chuck Yeager flew his rocket-powered Bell X-1* aircraft, “Glamorous Glennis”, to Mach 1.06 — 807.2 mph — breaking the sound barrier and paving the way for the rockets and capsules of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. Below is Captain Yeager’s test report for the XS-1* flight of October 14th, 1947:

The original copy of this document is part of the Bell X-1 exhibit at the Air and Space Museum.

There’s also some interesting background and more detailed information on the flight at Yeager’s website.

*- during flight tests, the craft was referred to as the Bell XS-1 (for eXperimental Supsersonic 1) — this was retroactively changed to X-1 by Bell Aircraft.


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