Science: 11.27 Miles Up

In Hertfordshire, England last week, Test-Pilot John ("Catseye") Cunningham took off in a De Havilland Vampire fighter, powered with a "Ghost" jet engine. By the time he had landed, he had hung up a new airplane altitude record: 59,492 ft. (11.27 miles)—more than half a mile higher than the record (56,046 ft.) established ten years ago by Italy's Colonel Mario Pezzi. Said Catseye Cunningham: "I just flew the plane to the highest point it would go with that engine and then came down again. It took 32 minutes to go up and 18 minutes to come down."


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