Oct. 14, 1947.
70 years ago today this man accomplished his duty. At the controls of the gaudily painted Bell XS-1 “Glamorous Glennis” (Glennis was his wife) the then Capt. Chuck Yeager achieved a speed of Mach 1.06 over the Mojave desert. The so-called “Sound Barrier” was “pierced” for the first time….officially, at least. There has always been rumours of previous passages through that barrier by the irrepressible NAA test pilot George “Wheaties” Welch at the helm of the XP-86 1st prototype.
Superb 1949 TIME magazine portrait artwork of the hero. Yeager wears here the classic Dr. Lombard designed golden flying helmet. In his Mach 1 milestone flight Yeager used a very customized contraction built by himself by cutting the top of a WW2 tank helmet and fastening it to a leather flying helmet.