Chuck Yeager and X-1A
According to the U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission, Chuck Yeager just wanted to be a mechanic when he entered the Army Air Forces right out of high school. But not long thereafter, with World War II in full swing, he earned his wings, and then after the war became a maintenance officer--a job that involved flight-testing airplanes.
By 1947, serving at Muroc Air Base in California (it later became Edwards Air Force Base), he was a bona fide test pilot, and just in time for a spectacular opportunity--the chance to be the first person to fly a plane faster than the speed of sound. On October 14 of that year, he accomplished that feat, flying the rocket-powered X-1 aircraft past Mach One. This photo shows Yeager about six years later, with the even more powerful X-1A, which he flew to a then-record Mach 2.4.
July 4, 2010 6:00 AM PDT
Photo by: U.S. Air Force
| Caption by: Jonathan Skillings
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