14 October 1947

Chuck Yeager becomes the first person to exceed the speed of sound.

Chuck Yeager was a legendary American aviator and test pilot who became the first person to break the sound barrier in level flight. He was born on February 13, 1923, in Myra, West Virginia, and passed away on December 7, 2020.

Yeager’s breakthrough moment occurred on October 14, 1947, when he flew the Bell X-1 rocket plane, named “Glamorous Glennis” after his wife, faster than the speed of sound. This historic achievement took place at Muroc Army Air Field (now Edwards Air Force Base) in California. Yeager’s accomplishment marked a significant milestone in aviation history and opened the door to supersonic flight.

Chuck Yeager’s career in aviation was not limited to breaking the sound barrier. He served as a test pilot for the U.S. Air Force and contributed to the development of numerous aircraft. He flew a variety of planes, including the X-1A, X-1B, X-3, X-4, X-5, and others. His expertise and bravery in testing new and experimental aircraft made him a highly respected figure in the aerospace community.

In addition to his achievements in aviation, Chuck Yeager also served as a combat pilot during World War II and the Vietnam War. He earned numerous awards and honors throughout his military career, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, and the Bronze Star.

Yeager’s story gained widespread recognition beyond the aviation community, partly due to Tom Wolfe’s book “The Right Stuff” and the subsequent film adaptation. The book and movie portrayed the lives of test pilots, including Yeager, during the early days of the space race.

Chuck Yeager’s contributions to aviation and his pioneering spirit continue to be celebrated, and he is remembered as a true American hero who pushed the boundaries of flight.