Chuck Yeager repeated his historic flight on Sunday, 65 years to the minute since he last broke the sound barrier. The First test pilot to break the sound barrier took to the skies again, flying faster than the speed of sound.
The 89-year-old pilot broke the sound barrier using a US Air Force F-15 at 10:24 am over the Mojave Desert, the same exact location where he first flew over Mach 1 on October 14, 1947, reports CNN.
Yeager flew in the F-15 with an Air Force captain and stated late Sunday that he hit Mach 1.3 and “laid down a pretty good sonic boom over Edwards” Air Force Base.
Chuck Yeager’s reenactment of his historic flight was the same day that Austrian “Fearless” Felix Baumgartner became the first human to break the sound barrier without an airplane. Baumgartner jumped from a balloon and capsule, skydiving 24-miles to the Earth below.
Yeager’s 1947 sound barrier-breaking flight was news in military and aircraft manufacturing circles, but his mainstream popularity grew when Tom Wolfe featured Yeager’s flight in the book The Right Stuff as well as in the subsequent film adaptation.
Fox News notes that the F-15 carrying Chuck Yeager took off from Nellis Air Force Base outside Las Vegas. It broke the sound barrier at 33,000 feet above the Mojave.
Yeager also spoke with reporters on Sunday, saying that he is grateful to this day for what his Air Force service allowed him to achieve. He has since been able to fly more than 350 kinds of planes around the world. Airman Timothy Young, a Nellis spokesman, stated:
“It was a great honor to have him fly out of Nellis. We pride ourselves on training fighter pilots and to have someone of his caliber here is such an honor.”
Yeager’s wife, Victoria, stated that the former Air Force pilot had been looking forward to re-enacting the historic flight. She stated, “This is so cool. I’m excited. He’s in the back seat where the instructor pilot sits because he’s the elder statesman.”
Chuck Yeager reenacted the historic sound barrier-breaking flight last year as well, flying an F-16 to reach Mach 1.