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
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.
Image 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.
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