Skip to comments.Chuck Yeager Broke Sound Barrier 60 Years Ago - VOA Story
Posted on 10/15/2011 8:47:55 AM PDT by Daffynition
American test pilot Chuck Yeager flew a plane through the sound barrier on October 14th, 1947. Some say only the Wright brothers Orville and Wilbur can claim a more significant achievement in the history of flight. At the time, Britain and Germany also were trying to develop a plane that could break the sound barrier, but the United States soon won out with its X-1. It was more rocket than plane, developed specifically to fly through the shock waves of the sound barrier, with Yeager as pilot. About half of the engineers gave us no chance at all of ever successfully flying beyond the speed of sound. They said its a so-called barrier and the airplane would go out of control or disintegrate, but I didnt look at it that way. Yeager said he had confidence in the craft. He named it Glamorous Glennis for his wife, and described its bullet-shaped body as cozy. ....
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Makes me want to go watch the first half of “The Right Stuff”...again...for the umteenth time!
Atta boy, Chuck!
Ya got some Beeman’s?
Yeager was portrayed in The Right Stuff by Sam Shepard. To me it was a great performance and a fantastic movie.
“Well, can ya loan me a stick?”
I love that movie.
My, he’s still handsome pup. Back when men weren’t afraid to be men.
He broke the sound barrier with a broken arm. He had to use a cut down broomstick handle to lock the hatch.
60 yrs ago or 64 years ago /
It’s the *twinkle* in the eye that gets ya. ;)
Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier on October 14, 1947 in the X-1.
No, big difference. Chuck Yeager piloted the first supersonic flight. A lot of engineers developed the aircraft that was capable of making the first supersonic flight. It was a huge team effort of which Yeager was the visible icon. But it could have been anyone else, including the Bell test pilot who went on strike for more money and didn't get to make the first flight.
The Wright Brothers did it all - research, developmenmt, test flights, manufacturing and design, pilot training, and then finally they flew it themselves. In 1903 there were only two pilots in the entire world. And only two airplane designers. All named Wright.
Awesomeness. First officially recorded breaking of the sound barrier in level flight, although others claim, and it is plausible, that they did so briefly in other aircraft while in a powered dive, before Yeager did the level flight one in the X1.
That's not exactly true... there were other people working on it. In fact, an unmanned, steam-powered heavier-than-air craft designed by John Stringfellow had got off the ground as early as 1848. Victor Tatin in France used a compressed-air engine to get his flying machine off the ground in 1874. A guy named Langley was working on a similar project at the very same time as the Wrights.
Even Hiram Maxim (of machine gun fame) built a steam-powered manned aircraft that had picked itself up and flew in 1894: "The American inventor of the machine gun built a very large 3.5 ton flying machine that ran on a track and was propelled by powerful twin naphtha fuelled steam engines. He made several tests in the huge biplane that were well recorded and reported. On July 31, 1894 he made a record breaking speed run at 42 miles per hour (68 km/h). The machine lifted from the 1,800-foot (550 m) track and broke a restraining rail, crashing after a short uncontrolled flight just above the ground."
Which, actually, is to take nothing away from the Wright Brothers. They did something that nobody else up until that time had done, which was to research, design, and build a practical heavier-than-air craft that could be flown in a controlled manner and safely landed. Unlike other inventors of their time and earlier, they didn't focus on power plants or just the macro-scale features of the structure; they did their homework on airfoil design and control surfaces. It was ground-breaking work, and it paid off.
So in a manner of speaking, they didn't really invent the airplane... they just made it practical.
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