Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Instagram
 

Chuck Yeager – the first person to break the sound barrier. And he did it with two broken ribs

Tijana Radeska
Chuck Yeager
Chuck Yeager

Chuck Yeager is a retired American test pilot who was the first person to break the sound barrier — the point where a speeding object (such as an airplane) passes the speed of sound.

Charles Yeager. Wikipedia/Public Domain

Charles Yeager.

Charles Elwood Yeager was born in 1923, in West Virginia. After he graduated from high school he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. It was at the time when the WWII began when he started his career as a pilot. He showed extordinary skilld as an aircraft mechanics and pilot and he soon became a P-51 fighter pilot.

P-51D-20NA, Glamorous Glen III, is the aircraft in which Yeager achieved most of his aerial victories. Wikipedia/Public Domain

P-51D-20NA, Glamorous Glen III, is the aircraft in which Yeager achieved most of his aerial victories.

Soon after he was assigned to the Eighth Air Force for combat operations in World War II  his P-51 Mustang was shot down over France, but Yeager evaded capture and escaped to Spain. Instead of going home, Yeager was willing to stay on the front and he got his request approved. So he stayed.

Brigadier General Charles Elwood Yeager. Wikipedia/Public Domain

Brigadier General Charles Elwood Yeager.

He was first commissioned a second lieutenant and later promoted to captain before going home. When he got back he had 61 mission and returned home. Since he was an evader, he could choose the assignments he was willing to do. He and his wife expected a child during this time, so he chose Wright Field to be close to his home in West Virginia.

His experience during the war and his skills got him the position of functional test pilot of repaired aircraft under the command of Colonel Albert Boyd, head of the Aeronautical Systems Flight Test Division.

Yeager in the Bell X-1 cockpit. Wikipedia/Public Domain

Yeager in the Bell X-1 cockpit.

Yeager remained in the Air Force after the war, becoming a test pilot at Muroc Army Air Field (now Edwards Air Force Base). After Bell Aircraft test pilot “Slick” Goodlin demanded $150,000 ($1.6 million in 2015 dollars) to break the sound “barrier,” the USAAF selected Yeager to fly the rocket-powered Bell XS-1 in an NACA program to research high-speed flight.

Continue to page 2

We hope you are enjoying The Vintage News. Please consider helping us with our journey to bring popular historical content to everyone by becoming a supporter today. Thanks.

Become a Supporter