Supersonic flight has come a long way since the first manned flight broke the sound barrier 60 years ago. That was in 1947, and it happened in California, over the Mojave Desert. That’s when the first sonic boom was created by a manned aircraft. You may have heard of the pilot; he’s pretty famous in aviation circles — young U.S. Air Force Capt. Charles (Chuck) Yeager was his name. He flew in an experimental aircraft, the Bell XS-1 and reach Mach 1.06.
The reaction of the world was phenomenal when the press found out about this previously-secret flight. The breaking of the sound barrier, as it was called by the press, represented a milestone in the burgeoning post WWII aviation industry. It also was the beginning of a highly competitive time internationally for breaking aviation speed records: One that culminated in the development of the Lockheed SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft and the Mach 2 Brithish Aerospace/French Aerospatiale Concorde supersonic transport (SST).
When you are a pilot, you are part of an amazing fraternity of flying men and women — and part of an astonishing history of events.