High speed flight | National Air and Space Museum


On October 14, 1947, at the controls of the Bell XS-1 # 1, Captain Charles ‘Chuck’ Yeager, USAF, became the first pilot to fly faster than sound.

The XS-1, later designated Xl, reached Mach 1.06, 700 mph, at an altitude of 43,000 feet, over the Mojave Desert near Muroc Dry Lake, California. The flight demonstrated that the aircraft could be designed to fly faster than sound, and the concept of a “sound barrier” collapsed into the myth.

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