Meet Charles Yeager, also known as Chuck. He is a former United States Air Force officer and record setting test pilot. Among his many outstanding credentials, Chuck is known for being the first person to ever travel faster than the speed of sound.
Breaking this barrier is commonly referred to as entering Mach 1, which is the ratio of the speed of an object (such as an airplane) to the speed of sound in the surrounding medium. On earth the Mach 1 is approximately 750 miles per hour.
Yeager’s history setting flight was made on October 14, 1947 in an airplane he named after his wife, the Glamorous Glennis. At 42,000 feet, Yeager engaged the third chamber of his engine causing his aircraft to accelerate rapidly at .98 Mach until finally, at 43,000 feet, his Machmeter jumped off the scale. Yeager’s Bell X-1 rocket plane now hangs in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. After breaking this remarkable record, he received an aviation award called the Collier Trophy. His flight was called “the greatest achievement in aviation since the Wright brothers first took flight in 1903.”