October 14, 1947

Capt. Charles “Chuck” Yeager becomes the first pilot to reach supersonic speeds in level flight when he reaches a speed of Mach 1.06 (700 mph) at an altitude of 45,000 feet in the rocket powered Bell XS 1 (later redesignated X-1) over Muroc Dry Lake, Calif. His aircraft was released by a B- 29 mother ship in mid air.