Test pilot Chuck Yeager, the first to break the sound barrier, has died

The pilot exceeded the speed of sound on a Bell X-1 plane in 1947.

Chuck Yeager, the most famous test pilot of his generation and the first to break the sound barrier, has died in Los Angeles at the age of 97.

The death of the pilot was announced on Twitter by his wife, Victoria. The cause of death is not specified.

During World War II, Yeager shot down 13 German planes, 5 of them in one day.

Yeager’s most notable achievement came on October 14, 1947, when he was an air force captain.

The pilot climbed out of a B-29 bomber as it rose over the Mojave Desert in California from Murok air force base and moved into the cockpit of an orange bell Aircraft X-1 experimental jet attached to the bomb bay.

It reached a speed of 700 mph, breaking the sound barrier and dispelling long-standing fears that any aircraft flying at the speed of sound or faster would be torn apart by shock waves.

NASA chief Jim Bridenstine called Yeager’s death “a huge loss for the country.”

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