Beth’s Trivia (Did You Know … )

June 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Tech/Sci

The first person known to have officially “broken the sound barrier” – exceeding Mach 1 in an aircraft – was an Air Force captain named Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager on October 14, 1947, aboard the Bell XS-1. (One World War II Luftwaffe pilot, Hans Guido Mutke, claimed in 2001 that he exceeded Mach 1 on April 9, 1945, but there is no proof / documentation of his exploit.)

Several other pilots have exceeded Mach 1 – Albert Scott Crossfield at Mach 2, Milburn G. “Mel” Apt at Mach 3, Robert Michael White at Mach 4 /Mach 5, and William J. “Pete” Knight, who on October 3, 1967, “set a world aircraft speed record for manned aircraft by piloting the X-15A-2 to 4,520 mph (7,274 km/h), a record that still stands today.”

The fastest jet aircraft, the SR-71 aka “Blackbird,” reached a top speed of approximately Mach 3.3.

The first woman to exceed Mach 1 (in 1953) was Jacqueline “Jackie” Cochran, who still holds the female speed record (1,429 mph), set in the 1960s.

And, yes, a jet-powered land vehicle has gone more than Mach 1 – driven by an RAF pilot named Andy Green, on September 25, 1997.