Chuck Yeager

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Yeager, Chuck

Yeager, Chuck (Charles Elwood Yeager) (yāˈgər), 1923–2020, American aviator, b. Myra, W.Va. An ace fighter pilot during World War II, he was a military test pilot during the early postwar years. Among other records, he was the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound (1947) and set a world speed record of 1,650 mph (1953). His obvious bravery, technical skill, and unaffected manner made him the quintessential American hero. He later commanded fighter squadrons and wings in Europe, the United States, Southeast Asia, and South Korea, was commandant of the Air Force's Aerospace Research Pilot School, flew combat missions during the Vietnam War, and was vice commander of the 17th Air Force. He retired in 1975 as a brigadier general, but continued to fly for many years, setting records in light aircraft, and served on the commission that investigated the space shuttle Challenger disaster.


See his autobiography, Yeager (with Leo Janos, 1985).

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Yeager, (Charles Elwood) Chuck

(1923–  ) aviator, test pilot; born in Myra, W.Va. A fighter pilot ace during World War II, he became the first to break the sound barrier, when he flew the Bell X-1 rocket 670 mph in level flight (October 14, 1947). He held various air force command assignments between 1954–62. He was vice-commander of the Ramstein, Germany, Air Base (1968–69), U.S. defense representative to Pakistan (1971–73), and director of aerospace safety at Norton Air Force Base in California (1973–75). His autobiography, Press On, was published in 1985. He appears as the main character in Tom Wolfe's book, The Right Stuff, and as the epitome of that virtue he appeared in numerous commercial endorsements.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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A choice snippet from Chuck Yeager's October 1947 transcript, just moments before he was about to break the sound barrier in the Bell X-1 jet, says it all: "Hell, yes, let's get it over with." Another moment recounts Neil Armstrong's and Buzz Aldrin's thoughts as they took their July 20, 1969 lunar stroll.
Dave Shephard's and Emily Sohn's "Heroes of Science" (9781438012001) includes scientific advances by Nicolaus Copernicus, Charles Darwin, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, and more; Dan Green's, Pete Katz's, and Sarah Skeate's "Heroes of Discovery" (9781438011998) includes discoveries by Johannes Gutenberg, Ada Lovelace, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, Tim Berners-Lee, and more; Jade Sarson's and Dan Green's "Heroes of Flight" (9781438011981) tells of pioneer pilots George Cayley, the Wright Brothers, Amelia Earhart, Igor Sikorsky, Chuck Yeager, and more; and Charli Vince's and Emily Sohn's "Heroes of Space" (9781438012018) explores the achievements of scientists and astronauts Henrietta Swan Leavitt, Edwin Hubble, Robert Goddard, Yuri Gagarin, Neil Armstrong, and more.
The AAF was more interested in quickly achieving and perfecting supersonic flight, so Chuck Yeager used a second faster X--1 to punch through the sound barrier--and then far beyond.
| 1947: Chuck Yeager in his Bell X-1 rocket plane became the first man to break the sound barrier.
In 1947, US Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager became the first pilot to officially break the sound barrier, reaching a speed of 807.2mph in the Bell X-l rocket-powered aircraft, which was designed to resemble a machine-gun bullet--a projectile known to be stable in supersonic flight.
There gathered an extraordinary band of pilots, including Second World War aces Chuck Yeager and George Welch, who risked their lives flying experimental aircraft to reach Mach 1, the so-called sound barrier, which pilots called "the demon".
He oozes the Right Stuff of Chuck Yeager and John Glenn, a character straight out of NASA's central casting: tall, confident, and a little cocky.
Chuck Yeager, the first man to break the speed of sound and considered the finest pilot to ever have flown a plane, and Gen.
I once described to my friend Steve Albers the scene in the movie The Right Stuff in which pilot Chuck Yeager is at almost 20 miles altitude when his jet's engine gives out.