ARMY & NAVY: What Comes Naturally

ARMY & NAVY

Just before noon one day last week a B-29 labored into the skies over California's Muroc Army Air Base. To its duralumin bosom it clutched a precious burden: the Bell Aircraft Corp.'s rocket-propelled XS-1, a plane designed to fly more than 1,000 miles an hour. At 27,000 feet, the stub-winged, orange-colored XS-1 was released to begin its first power flight. It dropped heavily—300, 600, 800 feet. Then the rocket engine in its tail belched flame and it spurted ahead.

For 19 minutes handsome, 23-year-old test pilot Chalmers ("Slick") Goodlin felt...

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