October 16, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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Chuck Yeager, ranked 1st to overcome the sound barrier, died at 97

Chuck Yeager, ranked 1st to overcome the sound barrier, died at 97

Retired Air Force Brig. World War II fighter pilot Ace and quintessential test pilot General Charles “Chuck” Yeager showed that there were “right things” in 1947 when he became the first person to fly faster than sound. He is 97 years old.

Yeager died Monday, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstein said in a statement, calling the death “a devastating loss to our country.”

“General Yeager’s pioneering and innovative spirit has developed America’s capabilities in the skies and brought our nation’s dreams into the jet age and space age. He said,` You do not focus on the risks. You focus on the results. That’s good, “said Breinstein, chief of The Christian Science Monitor’s Washington bureau.

Edward Air Force Base historian Jim Young unveiled a bronze statue of Yeager in August 2006, saying, “In the age of media-made heroes, he’s a real deal.”

Major General Curtis Bedke, commander of the Air Force Flight Testing Center in Edwards, said he was “the most righteous of all who have the right goods.”

Yeager traveled for more than 60 years from a small town in the hills of West Virginia, including piloting the X-15 pilot at Edwards in October 2002 at the age of 79 at 1,600 km / h.

“Living in old age is not the end. The trick is to enjoy the rest of the year,” he said in “Yeager: An Autobiography.”

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“I haven’t done everything yet, but by the time I’m done, I won’t miss much,” he wrote. “If I’re in a crash tomorrow, it’s not going to be angry in my face. I have the ball.”

On October 14, 1947, Yeager, the then 24-year-old captain, pushed the Orange, bullet-shaped Bell X-1 rocket to overcome the sound barrier at over 1,000 km / h, a terrible aviation milestone at the time.

“Sure, I was scared,” he said. “When you’re stupid with things you don’t know much about, there should be fear. But don’t let that affect your job.”

The modest Yeager said in 1947 that he could go faster if the plane carried more fuel. The ride was “as good as speeding in a car,” he said.

The Yeager rocket and all his other aircraft were nicknamed the “Glamorous Glenis” for his wife, who died in 1990.

See | Chuck Yeager says his historic 1947 flight gave him a sense of accomplishment:

In July 1985, Chuck Yeager spoke to Midday’s Valerie Pringle about his experiences as a test pilot. 2:14

Yeager’s feat was kept secret for a year when the British first thought the world had broken the sound barrier.

“It’s not a matter of not having planes flying at this kind of speed. It’s a matter of keeping them from falling,” Yeager said.

Sixty-five years later, on October 14, 2012, Yeager remembered this feat while flying in the back seat of the F-15 Eagle, breaking the sound barrier at an altitude of 9,144 meters in the Mojave Desert in California.

His exploits are told in the book Tom Wolf The right thing And the 1983 film which inspired it.

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Yeager was born on February 23, 1923, in Myra, a small community on the Mud River in the Appalachian Hollow, about 60 kilometers southwest of Charleston. The family later moved to Hamlin, the county seat. His father was an oil and gas driller and farmer.

Retired Air Force Brig. General Charles Yeager spoke to members of the media in October 2012 on a re-enacted plane to commemorate the 65-year-old who broke the sound barrier at the Nellis Air Force Base in New York. (Isaac Brecken / The Associated Press)

“I was really lucky to see myself in those years, how lucky I was, for example, to be born in 1923 and not in 1963, so I’m just as old as the aviation industry,” J యేger said in a December 1985 speech at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

“I was the lucky kid to catch the right ride,” he said.

After graduating from high school in 1941, Yeager joined the Army Air Corps. He later lamented that his lack of a college education prevented him from becoming an astronaut.

Fired on France

He started out as an airplane mechanic and signed up for a program that allowed registered men to be converted into pilots, even though he had become a serious airsik on his first flight.

During World War II, Yeager shot down 13 German aircraft on 64 missions, five of which were on a single mission. He once opened fire on German-occupied France, but escaped with the help of French partisans.

After World War II, he started at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio and became a test pilot.

On December 12, 1953, he flew the X-1A at a record high of more than 2,575 km / h on one of his flights after breaking the sound barrier. He said he got up early that morning and went hunting, hitting a goose in front of his plane. That night, he said, his family ate goose for dinner.

Yeager and actor Barbara Hershey attended The Wright Stuff’s special 20th anniversary screening and DVD release on June 9, 2003 at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, California. (Robert Mora / Getty Images)

Yeager has not forgotten his roots and West Virginia named it after him Bridges, Schools and Charleston Airport.

“My beginnings in West Virginia tell me who I am to this day,” Yeager wrote. “My successes as a test pilot tell more about luck, events and a person’s destiny. But the person who breaks the sound barrier swims with a watermelon that swipes the mud river or shoots its head off a squirrel before going to school.”

Yeager was awarded the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Air Medal and Purple Heart. President Harry S. Truman was awarded the Collier Air Trophy in December 1948 for overcoming the sound barrier. He also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985.

Yeager retired from the Air Force in 1975 and moved to a ranch in Cedar Ridge, Northern California, where he continued to serve as an adviser to the Air Force and Northrop Corporation.

He married Glennis Dickhouse, of Oroville, California, on February 26, 1945. She died in December 1990 of ovarian cancer. They have four children: Donald, Michael, Sharon and Susan. Yeager married Victoria Scott de Angelo, 45, in 2003.