Rest in peace, Chuck.
General Yeager, the famous test pilot who became the first person to break the sound barrier, and who was immortalized in Tom Wolfe's "The Right Stuff," passed away on Monday in Los Angeles. He was 97.
Yeager was a fighter ace in World War II. He once shot down five German planes in a single day. Later he became an Air Force general. But Yeager is best down for what he did on October 14, 1947, as an Air Force captain.
On that day he reached 700 miles an hour, breaking the sound barrier, in his Bell Aircraft X-1 flying over the Mojave Desert. This finally put to rest the long-held fear that breaking the sound barrier would tear any plane to pieces and ushered in the age of supersonic aviation.
Tom Wolfe described Yeager as "the most righteous of all the possessors of the right stuff."