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Mach Busters - Chuck Yeager & Scott Crossfield

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$495.00

 Product Description

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This Aviation Collectible is exquisitely Framed with double mattes and comes in a 1 ½" Matte Black Frame, exclusively produced by Planejunkie.

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Dimensions: 15.25" x 19.75"
Signature: Gen. Chuck Yeager and Scott Crossfield 

First Day of Issue Envelope: Honoring Glenn Curtiss

Plane Type: X-1 and X-15

 Charles Elwood "Chuck" Yeager Born February 13, 1923 is a former United States Air Force officer and record-setting test pilot. In 1947, he became the first pilot confirmed to have exceeded the speed of sound in level flight.

Yeager's career began in World War II as a private in the United States Army Air Forces. After serving as an aircraft mechanic, in September 1942 he entered enlisted pilot training and upon graduation was promoted to the rank of flight officer (the World War II USAAF equivalent to warrant officer) and became a P-51 fighter pilot.

After the war, Yeager became a test pilot of many types of aircraft, including experimental rocket-powered aircraft. As the first human to officially break the sound barrier, on October 14, 1947, he flew the experimental Bell X-1 at Mach 1 at an altitude of 45,000 ft (13,700 m). Although Scott Crossfield was the first to fly faster than Mach 2 in 1953, Yeager shortly thereafter set a new record of Mach 2.44.

Yeager later commanded fighter squadrons and wings in Germany, and in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, and in recognition of the outstanding performance ratings of those units he was promoted to brigadier general. Yeager's flying career spans more than 60 years and has taken him to every corner of the globe, including the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War.

The Bell X-1 that General Yeager flew to break the speed of sound was a rocket engine-powered aircraft, designated originally as the XS-1, and was a joint National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics-U.S. Army Air Forces-U.S. Air Force supersonic research project built by Bell Aircraft. Conceived during 1944 and designed and built in 1945, it achieved a speed of nearly 1,000 miles per hour (1,600 km/h; 870 kn) in 1948. A derivative of this same design, the Bell X-1A, having greater fuel capacity and hence longer rocket burning time, exceeded 1,600 miles per hour (2,600 km/h; 1,400 kn) in 1954.The X-1, piloted by Chuck Yeager, was the first manned airplane to exceed the speed of sound in level flight and was the first of the X-planes, a series of American experimental rocket planes (and non-rocket planes) designated for testing of new technologies and often kept secret.

 

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Albert Scott Crossfield (October 2, 1921 – April 19, 2006) Crossfield grew up in California and Washington. He served with the U.S. Navy as a flight instructor and fighter pilot during World War II. In 1950, Crossfield joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics' (NACA) High-Speed Flight Station (later called the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, and now named the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center) at Edwards Air Force Base, California, as an aeronautical research pilot.

Over the next five years, he flew nearly all of the experimental aircraft under test at Edwards, including the X-1XF-92X-4X-5Douglas D-558-I Skystreak and the Douglas D-558-II Skyrocket. During one of his X-1 flights, the cockpit windows completely frosted and Crossfield was literally flying blind. Ever resourceful, he removed a loafer, took off his sock, and created a peep hole to reference his chase plane wingman all the way to landing. On November 20, 1953, he became the first person to fly at twice the speed of sound as he piloted the Skyrocket to a speed of 1,291 mph (2,078 km/h, Mach 2.005). The Skyrocket D-558-II surpassed its intended design speed by 25 percent on that day. With 99 flights in the rocket-powered X-1 and D-558-II, Crossfield had — by a wide margin — more experience with rocketplanes than any other pilot in the world by the time he left Edwards to join North American Aviation in 1955.

As chief engineering test pilot for North American, Crossfield played a major role in the design and development of the North American X-15 and its systems. Once it was ready to fly, it was his job to demonstrate its airworthiness at speeds ranging up to Mach 3 (2,290 mph). Because the X-15 and its systems were unproven, these tests were considered extremely hazardous. Crossfield flew 14 of the 199 total X-15 flight tests with most of these tests establishing and validating initial key parameters. Crossfield not only designed the X-15 from the beginning, but introduced many innovations, including putting engine controls of the rocket plane into the cockpit. Previously, all engine adjustments resulted from technicians making adjustments on the ground based upon results of flight profiles.

All together, he completed 16 captive flights (mated to the B-52 launch aircraft), one glide and 13 powered flights in the X-15. The surprise retirement of the X-15 (due to funding cutbacks) after its record-setting Mach 6.72 (4,520 mph) flight prompted pilot Pete Knight to remark that he would have pushed it to even faster speeds if he knew it was the last flight. In his remarks to a number of aviation groups, Crossfield cited the X-15 as one of few aircraft that caused grown men to cry upon its retirement.

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