December 12, 1953

1953: Major Chuck Yeager attains the speed of 1,650 miles per hour in a Bell X-1A rocket-propelled research aircraft launched from a modified B-29 test platform. That speed equals approximately Mach 2.4 at the test altitude of 74,700 feet. The flight takes place over Edwards AFB, California. Losing complete control of the aircraft at high altitude, he recovers to level flight at 25,000 feet and lands successfully. Yeager received the Harmon Trophy for the flight.