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62. Chuck Yeager: Faster than the Speed of Sound
One of the greatest barriers in existence during
infancy of air travel was the speed of
. It was considered impossible to build and fly
airplane that could exceed this speed, but that
before the world was introduced to Chuck Yeager.
was already an accomplished fighter pilot in World
II, but his greatest achievement was after the
when he served as a test pilot for
United States Air Force. It was thought impossible
fly faster than sound during that period, and
one knew if a pilot could survive flying
that speed, or how it would affect him
he did survive. That did not deter Yeager,
Yeager was born on February 13, 1923 in
, West Virginia. He served during World War II
a fighter pilot. He did not start out
a pilot, though. Yeager enlisted as a private
worked as an aircraft mechanic in the old
Air Forces, where Yeager enrolled into a special
that trained enlisted men to become pilots. Yeager
greatly from having superior eyesight. He was considered
natural pilot early in his flight career.
fighter pilot in the European theater, Yeager was
down in France by German fighter planes. He
capture, and helped a fellow pilot to safety
that pilot had lost his leg in the
. Yeager was awarded a medal for his actions.
demonstrated exceptional talent as a pilot and once
down five enemy fighters in a single day.
the war, Yeager began a new career as
test pilot, where he flew the experimental aircraft
X-1 into aviation history.
On October 14, 1947,
flew his X-1 faster than the speed of
. He became the first human being to fly
than sound, and he went on to break
records during his 60-year flight history. Yeager retired
the army with the rank of Brigadier General,
has won many honors for his contributions to