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Yeager. Portrait of Charles Elwood "Chuck" Yeager (born 1923), the American who was the first person 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 exp- erimental aircraft, including the X-1A seen here, which became the second aircraft to travel at twice the speed of sound when Yeager flew it on 12 December 1953. He eventually rose to the rank of Brigadier-General. Photographed before 1956.
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