Who Is the First Man to Break the Sound Barrier?


Quick Answer

On Oct. 14, 1947, Chuck Yeager became the first person to break the sound barrier. He flew a Bell X-1 rocket-plane, which was deployed over Rogers Dry Lake in southern California.

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Full Answer

The test craft, named Glamorous Glennis, was flown to an altitude of 25,000 feet then released through the bomb bay doors of a B-29. After climbing to 42,000 feet, Yeager re-lit a third chamber of the plane's four-chamber engine sending him to 43,000 feet and a speed of Mach 1.06, or 700 mph. When his flight was declassified in June 1948, he was awarded the Collier Trophy for outstanding achievement in aviation.

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