ARMED FORCES: Faster Than Sound

The only known barrier to speed in the air has been pierced. This week the U.S. Air Force was ready to announce that a piloted airplane had broken through the transonic danger zone and that three Americans had flown faster than the speed of sound (760 m.p.h. at sea level), faster than any men had ever flown before.

It was the longest step in aeronautical development since Orville Wright first flew at Kitty Hawk, N.C., 44 years ago. But the Air Force's pride of achievement was dulled by the fact that it had...

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