Science: Hot Speed Record

A North American F-86D Sabre jet "broke 700" last week: i.e., established a new official speed record of 715.7 m.p.h.* The previous official record, also held by a Sabre jet, was 699.9 m.p.h. To turn the trick, Lieut. Colonel William Barnes, 32, flew his Sabre jet at the most favorable spot: the hot desert that surrounds the Salton Sea in Southern California. A Sabre jet is built to fly at mach .91, i.e., 91% of the speed of sound. Above this speed, it runs into a sharp increase of air resistance that is called...

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