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Chuck Yeager Breaks the Sound Barrier (1947) Options
Daemon
Posted: Sunday, October 14, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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Chuck Yeager Breaks the Sound Barrier (1947)

Days before becoming the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound, Yeager, a US Air Force test pilot, broke two ribs riding a horse. Afraid of being taken off the mission, he kept his injury a secret, even though it limited his movement so much that he had to reach with a broom handle to close the hatch on the X-1 experimental aircraft. Launched mid-air from a modified bomber, the X-1 broke the sound barrier, and Yeager became a legend. How fast was he flying when he went supersonic? More...
thar
Posted: Sunday, October 14, 2012 3:53:36 AM

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weren't they a bit suspicious he had a broom handle in the cockpit? Hard to smuggle it in, so you wonder what they thought he was going to use it for during the flight. The witchcraft alternative to parachuting out if the plane failed in mid-air?
MTC
Posted: Sunday, October 14, 2012 8:25:03 AM
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According to one source: "On the morning of the flight Chuck found out the Jackie Ridley (fellow test pilot) had sawn off approximately 10 inches of a broom handle in order for him to close the hatch."

(http://derekhorne.tripod.com/yeagerx1.html)

It would not be too much to imagine Yeager stuffing the 10in sawed-off handle inside his flight suit. After all, he had "The Right Stuff." Ouch!
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