With the aircraft simultaneously rolling, pitching, and yawing out of control, Yeager dropped 51,000 feet (16,000 m) in less than a minute before regaining control at around 29,000 feet (8,800 m). All rights reserved.

When his bullet-shaped Bell X-1 broke the sound barrier 45,000 feet above the Southern California desert, much of that technological power was tied to what was then Wright Field here outside Dayton. Yeager enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) on September 12, 1941, and became an aircraft mechanic at George Air Force Base, Victorville, California. Yeager formally retired from the Air Force in March 1975 as a brigadier general.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Yeager set several light general aircraft performance records for speed, range, and endurance. They're suing", "C.A.

Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. On October 19, 2006, the state of West Virginia also honored Yeager with a marker along Corridor G (part of US Highway 119) in his home Lincoln County, and also renamed part of the highway the Yeager Highway. [39], On November 20, 1953, the U.S. Navy program involving the D-558-II Skyrocket and its pilot, Scott Crossfield, became the first team to reach twice the speed of sound. [59], Yeager Airport in Charleston, West Virginia, is named in his honor. Yeager enlisted in the U.S. Army in September 1941, shortly after graduating from high school, and was assigned to the Army Air Corps. [75] In August 2008, the California Court of Appeal ruled for Yeager, finding that his daughter Susan had breached her duty as trustee. In 1968 he took command of the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing. "Wright Field was sort of the nerve center … of approaching this problem and how to solve it.". [58] He was inducted into the Aerospace Walk of Honor 1990 inaugural class. Yeager later commanded fighter squadrons and wings in Germany, as well as in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.

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He was the first pilot in history confirmed to have exceeded the speed of sound in level flight. He is the cousin of former baseball catcher Steve Yeager.[9][b]. For several years in the 1980s, Yeager was connected to General Motors, publicizing AC Delco, the company's automotive parts division. Omissions? Now a full colonel[40] in 1962, after completion of a year's studies at the Air War College, Yeager became the first commandant of the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School, which produced astronauts for NASA and the USAF, after its redesignation from the USAF Flight Test Pilot School. (Yeager himself had only a high school education, so he was not eligible to become an astronaut like those he trained.) 'It was,' he later wrote, 'the Indian way of giving Uncle Sam the finger.'" [12] He received his pilot wings and a promotion to flight officer at Luke Field, Arizona, where he graduated from Class 43C on March 10, 1943.

Glennis died in 1990. Chuck Yeager was a decorated combat pilot and celebrated test pilot with the right stuff to break the sound barrier. After the war, Yeager became a test pilot of many types of aircraft, including experimental rocket-powered aircraft. Despite his lack of higher education, he has been honored in his home state. "[39], The new record flight, however, did not entirely go to plan, since shortly after reaching Mach 2.44, Yeager lost control of the X-1A at about 80,000 ft (24,000 m) due to inertia coupling, a phenomenon largely unknown at the time. Highlights of Chuck Yeager’s flying career: * From 1943 to 1945 he was flying P-51 in Europe and was credited for shooting down 11.5 enemy aircraft (one was shared with another pilot). Yeager made a cameo appearance in the movie The Right Stuff (1983). In 1947, when Chuck Yeager (born Charles Elwood Yeager) set out to break the sound barrier in the experimental X-1, the scientists were shaking their heads. The chase plane for the flight was an F-16 Fighting Falcon piloted by Bob Hoover, a longtime test, fighter and aerobatic pilot who had been Yeager's wingman for the first supersonic flight.

On one such flight, Yeager performed an emergency landing as a result of fuel exhaustion.

In 1954 Yeager left his post as assistant chief of test-flight operations at Edwards Air Force Base in California to join the staff of the Twelfth Air Force in West Germany.
Yeager was chosen from several volunteers to test-fly the secret experimental X-1 aircraft, built by the Bell Aircraft Company to test the capabilities of the human pilot and a fixed-wing aircraft against the severe aerodynamic stresses of sonic flight. Yeager had gained one victory before he was shot down over France in his first aircraft (P-51B-5-NA s/n 43-6763) on March 5, 1944 during his eighth mission. The success of the mission was not announced to the public until June 1948. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... What did English nobleman George Cayley successfully test in 1853 after studying stability, lift, and control? "[47] His own role in the movie was played by Sam Shepard. Chuck Yeager's Advanced Flight Trainer was Electronic Art's top selling game for 1987. Chuck Yeager, byname of Charles Elwood Yeager, (born February 13, 1923, Myra, West Virginia, U.S.), American test pilot and U.S. Air Force officer who was the first man to exceed the speed of sound in flight. [62], The Civil Air Patrol, the volunteer auxiliary of the USAF, awards the Charles E. "Chuck" Yeager Award to its Senior Members as part of its Aerospace Education program. Any airplane I name after you always brings me home.

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[48] In 1986 he was invited to drive the Chevrolet Corvette pace car for the 70th running of the Indianapolis 500. [57] He was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1981. Eisenhower, after gaining permission from the War Department to decide the requests, concurred with Yeager and Glover. [39] For this achievement, Yeager was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal (DSM) in 1954.[e].

[56], In 1966, Yeager was inducted into the International Air & Space Hall of Fame.

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