AMAZING ICON-CHUCK YEAGER

AMAZING ICON-CHUCK YEAGER

Charles ElwoodChuckYeager (born February 13, 1923) is a retired brigadier general in the United States Air Force and record-setting test pilot. In 1947, he became the first pilot confirmed to have traveled faster than sound.

Chuck Yeager’s Early Career

Chuck Yeager’s career began in World War II as a private in the United States Air Force. After serving as an aircraft mechanic, in September 1942 he entered enlisted pilot training and upon graduation was promoted to the rank of flight officer and became a P-51 fighter pilot.

Amazing Feats

After the war, Yeager became a test pilot of many types of aircraft, including experimental rocket-powered aircraft. As the first human to break the sound barrier, on October 14, 1947, he flew the experimental Bell X-1 at Mach 1 at an altitude of 45,000 ft (13,700 m). Although Scott Crossfield was the first to fly faster than Mach 2 in 1953, Yeager shortly thereafter set a new record of Mach 2.44.
Yeager later commanded fighter squadrons and wings in Germany and in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. In recognition of the outstanding performance ratings of those units he was promoted to brigadier general. Yeager’s flying career spans more than 60 years and has taken him to every corner of the globe, including the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War.
In the 1980s, he was prominently featured in Tom Wolfe’s book The Right Stuff and in its 1983 film adaptation, in which he has a cameo role as bartender Fred.

Breaking Sound Barrier (Mach-1)

Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier on October 14, 1947, in the X-1.
Such was the difficulty in this task that the answers to many of the inherent challenges were along the lines of “Yeager better have paid-up insurance.” Two nights before the scheduled date for the flight, Yeager broke two ribs when he fell from a horse. He was so afraid of being removed from the mission that he went to a veterinarian in a nearby town for treatment and told only his wife, as well as friend and fellow project pilot Jack Ridley about the accident. On the day of the flight, Yeager was in such pain that he could not seal the X-1’s hatch by himself. Ridley rigged up a device, using the end of a broom handle as an extra lever, to allow Yeager to seal the hatch of the X-1.

Amazing Feats

On October 14, 1997, on the 50th anniversary of his historic flight past Mach 1, he flew a new Glamorous Glennis III, an F-15D Eagle, past Mach 1. This was Yeager’s last official flight with the U.S. Air Force.
On October 14, 2012, on the 65th anniversary of breaking the sound barrier, Yeager did it again in a McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, out of Nellis Air Force Base at the age of 89. This great icon continues to amaze and inspire us!

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