Yeager Bomb

USA Today reports: Space shuttle Endeavour reaches Los Angeles destination [Oct. 14, 2012]:

Sixteen hours behind schedule, the space shuttle Endeavour arrived at its new home at the California Science Center, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“Mission 26 – Mission Accomplished,” the Times quoted Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as saying at a news conference Sunday at Exposition Park.

Oct. 14, 1947: Chuck Yeager broke the “sound barrier”

“Today, everyone in the city of Los Angeles is an astronaut,” city fire chief Brian Cummings said.

No, not everyone in the city of Los Angeles is an astronaut. Most are, however, illegal immigrants. The melancholy sight of the Endeavour being paraded throughout the streets of Los Angeles, a casualty of the nameless war being waged against the historic majority population of America, is only augmented by the realization that today marks the anniversary of Chuck Yeager’s 65th anniversary flight that broke the sound-barrier.

Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff is one of my favorite books (the movie of the same name is easily my favorite film) and it’s on p. 40 that we are treated to this fantastic description of the type of man America once produced:

The only trouble they had with Yeager was in holding him back. On his first powered flight in the X01 he immediately executed an unauthorized zero-g roll with a full load of rocket fuel, then stood the ship on its tail and went up to .85 Mach in a vertical climb, also unauthorized. On tail and went up to .85 Mach in a vertical climb, also unauthorized. On subsequent flight, at speeds between .85 Mach and .9 Mach, Yeager ran into most known airfoil problems – loss of elevator, aileron, and rudder control, heavy trim pressures, Dutch rolls, pitching and buffeting, the lot – yet was convinced, after edging over .9 Mach, that this would all get better, not worse as you reached Mach 1. the attempt to push beyond Mach 1 – “breaking the sound barrier” – was set for October 14, 1947. Not being an engineer, Yeager didn’t believe the “barrier” existed. 

Above the skies of Muroc Air Force Base (now known as Edwards Air Force Base) just outside a much, mush different Los Angeles, Yeager would go on to break the sound barrier.

There’s not much else to add. We salute Chuck Yeager, a real American Hero today.

And we note the strange dichotomy of the date (which should be celebrated as a national holiday), with the despondent final journey of the Endeavour through the streets of much, much different Los Angeles then the one that existed in 1947.

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