Sunday, October 14, 2018

October 14th...This Day in History (Yeager breaks sound barrier + others)


Yeager breaks sound barrier 1947


U.S. Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager becomes the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound.


Yeager, born in Myra, West Virginia, in 1923, was a combat fighter during World War II and flew 64 missions over Europe. He shot down 13 German planes and was himself shot down over France, but he escaped capture with the assistance of the French Underground. After the war, he was among several volunteers chosen to test-fly the experimental X-1 rocket plane, built by the Bell Aircraft Company to explore the possibility of supersonic flight.


For years, many aviators believed that man was not meant to fly faster than the speed of sound, theorizing that transonic drag rise would tear any aircraft apart. All that changed on October 14, 1947, when Yeager flew the X-1 over Rogers Dry Lake in Southern California. The X-1 was lifted to an altitude of 25,000 feet by a B-29 aircraft and then released through the bomb bay, rocketing to 40,000 feet and exceeding 662 miles per hour (the sound barrier at that altitude). The rocket plane, nicknamed “Glamorous Glennis,” was designed with thin, unswept wings and a streamlined fuselage modeled after a .50-caliber bullet.


Because of the secrecy of the project, Bell and Yeager’s achievement was not announced until June 1948. Yeager continued to serve as a test pilot, and in 1953 he flew 1,650 miles per hour in an X-1A rocket plane. He retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1975 with the rank of brigadier general.


(More Events on This Day in History)

GENERAL INTEREST

2012

Skydiver breaks sound barrier with 24-mile jump

On this day in 2012, Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner jumps from a capsule attached to a helium balloon approximately 24 miles above Earth and becomes the first person to break the sound barrier without the protection or propulsion of a vehicle. After making his ...

MUSIC

1957

“Wake Up Little Susie” becomes the Everly Brothers’ first #1 hit

Harmony singing was a part of rock and roll right from the beginning, but the three- and four-part harmonies of doo-wop, derived from black gospel and blues traditions, would never have given us Simon and Garfunkel, the Beatles or the Byrds. To get those groups, you first had to ...


GENERAL INTEREST

1912

Theodore Roosevelt shot in Milwaukee

Before a campaign speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Theodore Roosevelt, the presidential candidate for the Progressive Party, is shot at close range by saloonkeeper John Schrank while greeting the public in front of the Gilpatrick Hotel. Schrank’s .32-caliber bullet, aimed directly ...

GENERAL INTEREST

1066

The Battle of Hastings


King Harold II of England is defeated by the Norman forces of William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings, fought on Senlac Hill, seven miles from Hastings, England. At the end of the bloody, all-day battle, Harold was killed–shot in the eye with an arrow, according to ...

GENERAL INTEREST

1964

King wins Nobel Peace Prize

African American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent resistance to racial prejudice in America. At 35 years of age, the Georgia-born minister was the youngest person ever to receive the award.Martin Luther King, ...

VIETNAM WAR

1968

U.S. servicemen sent to Vietnam for second tours

U.S. Defense Department officials announce that the Army and Marines will be sending about 24,000 men back to Vietnam for involuntary second tours because of the length of the war, high turnover of personnel resulting from the one year of duty, and the tight supply of experienced ...


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