Science: Museum Piece

Less than three years ago, with its famed test pilot Captain Charles E. Yeager at the controls, the Air Force's Bell X-1 rocket plane became the first aircraft to fly faster than sound (TIME, June 21, 1948). Last week "Chuck" Yeager, piloting a B-29 with the little X-1 attached to its underside, landed in Washington. The X-1 was being turned over to the Smithsonian Institution, to be added to its collection of more than 100 historic planes.* Not much sentiment was wasted on the occasion: the X-1 was already obsolete.

*Including the Wright brothers' Kitty Hawk; Wiley Post's Winnie Mae; Lindbergh's Spirit...

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