Breaking it Again at 89

Retired Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager, the first man to officially break the sound barrier in level flight, on Oct. 14 recreated the moment exactly 65 years later to the minute—this time in an F-15 fighter. It was on Oct. 14, 1947, when then 24-year-old Yeager piloted the rocket-propelled Bell X-1 through the sound barrier over the Mojave Desert, achieving the feat at 10:24 a.m. Fast forward 65 years and Yeager again surpassed the speed of sound while flying at 45,000 feet in altitude above the southern California desert in the back seat of an F-15D that took off from Nellis AFB, Nev. “It was a smooth flight today,” said Yeager of the anniversary flight. “I’m very familiar with the area and got a good view,” he added. Capt. David Vincent, a 65th Aggressor Squadron pilot at Nellis, took Yeager up in the F-15. (Nellis report by SrA. Jack Sanders)