First man to break the Speed of Sound in Freefall

Today Felix Baumgartner become the first man to break the speed of sound in freefall, with 1,24 Mach – 843 mph. He made the historic Jump, the skydiving, from Red Bull Stratos stratospheric balloon’s capsule, from the record breaking altitude of 128,100feet – 39,045km.

Back on October 14th, 1947, as today, the X1 aircraft, piloted by Air Force Captain Charles “Chuck” Yeager, succeeded the first manned supersonic flight.   See the more for the X-1 aircraft.

Red Bull Stratos, a mission to the edge of space, supported by a team of experts, with a stratospheric balloon, the biggest balloon ever made measuring 102 m tall – 335 feet, equivalent to a 55 story building. The balloon was containing 30 million cubic feet of helium.

Baumgartner made the record-breaking freefall Space jump at a top speed of 843 mph – 1,356 km/h, (the speed of sound is 340.3 m/s – 1225 km/h – 761.2 mph), while delivering valuable data for medical and scientific advancement.

All images are screenshots from the Red Bull Stratos webcast feed

First man to break the Speed of Sound in Freefall

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The first manned supersonic flight

On 14 October 1947, the Bell X-1 rocket-powered airplane was launched from the bomb bay of a modified B-29 Superfortress bomber, and it glided to a landing on the dry lake. XS-1 flight number 50 is the first one in which the X-1 recorded supersonic flight, at Mach 1.06 (361 m/s, 1,299 km/h, 807.2 mph) peak speed.

Bell X-1Image credit: wikimedia

The Bell X-1, originally designated XS-1, was a joint NACA-U.S. Army Air Forces-U.S. Air Force supersonic research project built by the Bell Aircraft Company. Conceived in 1944 and designed and built during 1945, it reached nearly 1,000 m.p.h. (1,600 km/h) in 1948. A derivative of this same design, the Bell X-1A, having greater fuel capacity and hence longer rocket burning time, exceeded 1,600 m.p.h. (2,575 km/h) in 1954. The X-1 was the first airplane to exceed the speed of sound in level flight and was the first of the so-called X-planes, an American series of experimental rocket planes designated for testing of new technologies and often kept secret.

via Red Bull Stratos Youtube

 


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