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On this day in 1947 U.S. Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager becomes the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound.

Before Yeager’s feat, many believed that an aircraft attempting to break the sound barrier would be torn apart. The X-1 (Glamorous Glennis) was lifted to an altitude of 25,000 feet by a B-29 aircraft and then released through the bomb bay, rocketing to 40,000 feet and exceeding 662 miles per hour (the sound barrier at that altitude).

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