Science: The Boiling Point

Britain claimed a new jet altitude record last week: 63,668 ft. over southwest England. The plane was a Canberra bomber with two Bristol Olympus turbojet engines, piloted by R.A.F. Wing Commander Walter F. Gibb.

Rocket planes have flown higher; the Douglas Skyrocket piloted by Bill Bridgeman reached 79,494 ft. in 1951 (TIME, Sept. 10, 1951). But since rocket motors need no air to breathe, they are considered in a separate class. They can fly under full power for only two or three minutes, and when trying for an altitude record, they must be dropped...

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