| On October 14, 1947, Capt. Charles "Chuck" Yeager, USAF,
became the first pilot to fly faster than sound. The plane was the
Bell XS-1 #1,The XS-1, later redesignated the X-l. Captain Yeager
named the plane, Glamorous Glennis in honor of his wife. It
reached a speed of 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 aircraft could be designed to fly faster than sound,
and the concept of a "sound barrier" crumbled into myth.
The flight is beautifully recreated in the motion picture The Right
On August 26, 1950, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen.
Hoyt Vandenberg presented the X-1 #1 to the Smithsonian
Institution. He stated that it "marked the end of the first great
period of the air age, and the beginning of the second. In a few
moments the subsonic period became history and the supersonic period was
born." The X-1 is now on display in the Milestones
of Flight Gallery at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington,
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