Bill's Aviation Room -- A Tribute to Chuck Yeager
|Chuck Yeager, Mr. Speed. The first man to break the speed of sound.
On October 14, 1947, over Rogers Dry Lake in California, Yeager immortalized himself by
releasing his Bell X-1 rocket plane from the belly of the B-29 mother ship at an altitude
of 25,000 ft. He then fired the rockets which would propel him to an altitude of 40,000 ft
and a speed of 662 miles per hour. It was the day the world heard its first man made sonic
boom. The government kept it secret for 8 month's before it told the world. He would later
also become the first person to break the 1600 miles per hour mark.
One of the most amazing but little known facts about this famous day in October 1947 is that Yeager had cracked three of his ribs the day before in a horse riding incident. He did not say anything about it for fear the flight would be scrubbed. The only person he told was his good friend Ridley who devised a method using the end of a broom handle by which Yeager could close the hatch without having to raise his arms above his head. A task he knew he would not be able to do with cracked ribs.
Born in 1923 to a simple, but hard working family in West Virginia, Chuck Yeager was born to fly. Gifted with incredible eyesight of 20/10 and great hand eye coordination it is by no mistake that Yeager would be the first to fly faster than the speed of sound. He enlisted as a Private in the Army Air Corp in 1941. This brought him to the European theatre of operations in W.W.II as driver of the P-51 mustang. He flew 63 missions and was credited with 13 kills. He was also the first man to become an ACE in one day with 5 confirmed kills.
It is a great privilege and honor to place
Chuck Yeager on the Wall of Honor.
created by bill black ©1997 all rights reserved on all originals, updated 09/20/02
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