Science: Rocket Take-Off

The Air Force's Bell X-1 rocket plane started its famous supersonic flights by being dropped from a high-flying B29. Last week, trying something new, it took off from the ground for the first time under its own (four rocket motor) power. Piloted by 25-year-old Captain Charles E. Yeager, the first man to fly faster than sound, it streaked across the desert at Muroc Dry Lake, Calif., and was airborne after only 2,300 ft., a shorter ground run than most standard fighters require.

In 1 min. 40 sec. after its motors started, the massive little aircraft...

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