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Yeager. Portrait of Charles Elwood "Chuck" Yeager (born 1923), the American who was the first to fly faster than the speed of sound. On 14 October 1947 Yeager flew a Bell X-1 aircraft at a speed of 1078 kilometres per hour at an altitude of 12,800 metres - equivalent to 1.015 times the speed of sound. Yeager had begun his career as a fighter pilot during World War II, destroying 13 enemy aircraft. He spent several years flying experimental aircraft, including the X-1. He then commanded fighter and test pilot units in Europe and America, eventually rising to the rank of Brigadier-General. Photograph of Yeager in a NF- 104 Starfighter aircraft in 1962.
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