Washington: Chuck Yeager, the first person to break the sound barrier and one of the U.S. Air Force’s most decorated test pilots, has passed away, CNN reported on Tuesday.
Yeager’s death was announced on his official Twitter account in a tweet attributed to his wife Victoria Scott D’Angelo.
Yeager was 97 years old when breathed his last.
“It is (with) profound sorrow, I must tell you that my life love General Chuck Yeager passed just before 9pm ET,” his wife Victoria tweeted form Yeager’s verified account.
“An incredible life well lived, America’s greatest Pilot, & a legacy of strength, adventure, & patriotism will be remembered forever,” the tweet read further.
According to CNN, the US Air Force officer broke the sound barrier when he tested the X-1 in October 1947. Yeager, known as “the fastest man alive,” joined the Air Force at age 18 in 1941 and was assigned to the Army Air Corps.
Yeager has commissioned a reserve flight officer before becoming a pilot in the fighter command of the Eighth Air Force stationed in England in 1943. He flew 64 missions and shot down 13 German planes, according to his biography on Britannica in World War.
Post the war, Yeager became a flight instructor and a test pilot, working as an assistant maintenance officer in the Fighter Section of the Flight Test Division at Wright Field in Ohio, the American media outlet reported further.
Yeager was “hand-selected” to be a student at the test pilot school at Wright Field by Col. Albert Boyd, the chief of the Flight Test Division in 1946.
“He chose Yeager because he considered him the best ‘instinctive’ pilot he had ever seen and he had demonstrated an extraordinary capacity to remain calm and focused in stressful situations,” Yeager’s website explained.
“After months of flights with the X-1, Yeager broke the sound barrier with his aircraft, which he named the Glamorous Glennis on October 14, 1947, over Rogers Dry Lake in Southern California.The X-1 reached Mach 1.06 or 700 mph, making Yeager the first man to travel faster than the speed of sound and earning him the title of “Fastest Man Alive”,” CNN reported further.
In the following years, Yeager to test aircraft and “pushing the limits”, setting the speed record for a straight wing aircraft of Mach 2.44, December of 1953 and was awarded the 1953 Harmon International Trophy by President Dwight D. Eisenhower for breaking the record. (ANI)