BLUF

Chuck Yeager the first person to break the sound barrier in level flight.

Summary

Chuck (Charles Elwood) Yeager, aviator, born 23 February 1923; died 7 December 2020. Career details were as follows:
  • In 1947 Yeager became the first person to break the sound barrier officially.
  • Yeager's the Bell X-1 was dropped at  20000 feet by a B29.
  • He then took the X-1 to 42000 feet.
  • Yeager reached Mach 1.05 in level flight.
  • In another record attempt Yeager took a Lockheed NF-104A rocket-boosted jet to 108,700ft, more than 20 miles high, and to the edge of space.
  • Yeager lost control and bailed out at 14000 ft.
  • During WW2 Yeager was credited with shooting down 13 planes, including five victories in one mission.
  • The X-1 was similar to the planned British Miles M-52 jet.
  • Based in the Philippines, he flew a Canberra bomber during the Vietnam war.
  • He retired in 1976 as a brigadier-general 
  • His last supersonic flight, in 2012 commemorated the 65th anniversary of his breaking of the sound barrier.