The Bell X-1Back to main

On October 14, 1947, Captain Charles E. "Chuck" Yeager became the first human to travel faster than the speed of sound. The Air Force test pilot streaked above Rogers Dry Lake at a speed of Mach 1.06 (700 mph), making the first sonic boom ever heard at Muroc Army Air Field (now Edwards AFB). Facing unknown forces, the Bell X-1 rocket research plane was stressed for 18 g airloads, making it probably the strongest airframe in the world at that time.

During WWII Yeager flew the P51D Mustang and became one of the few Aces (shooting down 5 aeroplanes). He did not only achieve this by shooting down 5 Me109 fighter planes, but did it in one single mission (oct. 10, 1944). Another remarkable achievement, was that he in the latter part of the war shot down a Me 262 Jet plane while flying in a P51D.

The P51D Mustang