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Remembering Chuck Yeager, the world's first supersonic pilot

Dec. 08, 2020
3 min read
Remembering Chuck Yeager, the world's first supersonic pilot
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Decades before the famed Concorde made its first passenger flight, Chuck Yeager soared above Southern California's Mojave Desert in a rocket-powered Bell X-1.

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.

Captain Charles Yaeger with the Bell X-1. (Photo by Bettmann/Getty Images)

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.

General Chuck Yeager in 1986 at Edwards Air Force Base. (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)

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.

(Photo by Fairfax Media/Getty Images)

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.

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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 image by Getty Images

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Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
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  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023