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On December 12, 1953, Chuck Yeager flew the Bell X-1A 1,650 mph, becoming the first man to fly two and one-half times the speed of sound.

At Mach 2.4 at 80,000 feet the aircraft spun out of control, spinning on all 3 axes. G-forces sent Yeager's head into the canopy, cracking it and bending the control stick. The aircraft spun down 51,000 feet in 51 seconds before he regained control at 25,000 feet.

His speed record that day stood for the next 3 years.

Follow along with the original cockpit audio and transcript of that flight.


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