Remembering Chuck Yeager, the world’s first supersonic pilot
On Oct. 14, 1947, at the age of 24, Yeager became the first person in the world to fly beyond the speed of sound, paving the way for generations of pilots to achieve supersonic flight — for decades to come.
Sadly, this aviation legend’s journey has come to an end. As confirmed by his wife, Victoria Yeager, the former United States Air Force general died Monday, Dec. 7, in Los Angeles.
His nearly 100 years were remarkably well-lived, however.
While Yeager’s 1947 record may be his most celebrated achievement, he continued to make his mark throughout his more than 30 years in the U.S. military, where he served in World War II, the Vietnam War and the Cold War. According to an NPR report, Yeager managed to fly more than 360 aircraft types during that time.
Yeager’s fame continued even after his Air Force retirement in 1975, with a cameo in “The Right Stuff,” a film that detailed elements of his career, and those of other military test pilots.
Yeager’s high-speed adventures weren’t limited to the cockpit. He went on to serve as a spokesperson for a variety of vehicle manufacturers, and even drove the pace car at several popular races.
The famed pilot’s flying adventures continued through his 89th birthday, when he broke the sound barrier yet again in an F-15 operated by another pilot in 2012, celebrating the 65th anniversary of the day he first flew beyond Mach 1.
Yeager was 97 at the time of his death, on Dec. 7, 2020 — not far from the site of his first supersonic record in Los Angeles.
Unfortunately he didn’t live long enough to see the return of commercial supersonic travel — though whether or not that becomes a reality within any of our lifetimes remains… up in the air.
Featured photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.