On October 14, 1947, Captain Chuck Yeager became the first man to fly faster than sound (~700MPH) in a plane modeled after a bullet. The Bell XS-1 experimental aircraft he flew that day was specifically designed for speed and nothing else. With only 90 seconds of fuel, the Glamours Glennis needed to be hauled under the belly of another larger aircraft to an altitude where of 25,000 feet where it would detach, ignite, and thrust into the history books. Yeager, who suffered two broken ribs from a horse ride only several days before with the help of his friend and fellow pilot Jack Ridley’s ingenuity in rigging up a small lever so that he could close the hatch of XS-1, became the worlds fastest man. Through the pain of the broken ribs, and foreboding naysayers claiming it couldn’t be done, the 24 year old Yeager persevered with grit and determination.
On hearing of his death, calls are going out to morn the great loss to the nation of his passing at 97. The fact is, that we should be celebrating him and every man like him who took life by the horns and made it happen. It is their untamed spirit for achievement that we should all be championing. All of us, owe a debt to the pioneers who pushed forward in spite of the odds and ramblings of cowards to make this country great. These are the ones who really have “The Right Stuff” that needs to live on in all of us.