The fastest man alive


On October 14, 1947, Air Force Captain Charles “Chuck” Yeager became the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound. In this May 1948 photo, Yeager sits in the cockpit of the supersonic research aircraft, the Bell X-1. The Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum now houses the Bell-X-1.

National Archives, Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations