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On this day:

Yeager breaks sound barrier

American pilot Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier on this day. For years, many aviators believed that man was not meant to fly faster than the speed of sound. All that changed on October 14, 1947, when Yeager flew the Bell X-1 rocket plane, nicknamed Glamorous Glennis, over Rogers Dry Lake in southern California. The X-1 was lifted to an altitude of 25,000 feet by a B-29 aircraft and then released, rocketing to 40,000 feet and exceeding 662 miles per hour (the sound barrier at that altitude). The plane was designed with a new type of rocket engine and a streamlined fuselage to reduce turbulence. In 1953, Yeager flew 1,650 miles per hour in an X-1A rocket plane.