Today in History: Chuck Yeager becomes the first person to break the sound barrier

'Hardcore Heroes': Chuck Yeager Is the First Man to Break the Sound Barrier
'Hardcore Heroes': Chuck Yeager Is the First Man to Break the Sound Barrier

On this day in 1947, US Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager becomes the first individual to break the sound barrier.

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Yeager was born in West Virginia in 1923 and became a combat fighter during World War II. He flew 64 missions over Europe and shot down 13 German planes until he too was shot down and managed to escape capture. He was one of the few individuals chosen to test an experimental rocket plane to explore the possibility of flying faster than sound. This is a goal that has intrigued humankind for years and many believed that it was not possible due to the limitations of the body and of the materials used to build the aircrafts, but on October 14, 1947, Yeager changed their mind.

GALLERY: Look at Yeager's achievement through these historical photographs

A B-29 aircraft lifted Yeager in his X-1 plane to 25,000 feet and then released him through the bomb bay. The pilot reached a speed of 662 miles per hour, which is the sound barrier at that altitude. Even thought he mission was a success, the project was kept secret until 1948, when the achievement was announced .

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Originally published