During the 75th Anniversary of Supersonic Flight Ceremony at the 2022 Aerospace Valley Open House, Air Show & STEM Expo, a new supersonic corridor was announced.
This supersonic tunnel was dubbed in honor of the valiant group who helped push humanity to new heights of success. In the newly dubbed “Bell X-1 Supersonic Corridor,” Maj. Alex “Brick” Shuler, an F-22 Test Pilot, became the first pilot to breach the sound barrier.
A trip down the memory lane
Chuck Yeager, who was born on February 13th, 1923, in Myra, West Virginia, joined the US Army in September 1941, just after finishing high school, and was enlisted in the Army Air Corps.
Yeager was chosen to pilot the Bell X-1, a classified experimental aircraft designed to test the human pilot’s capabilities and the fixed-wing aircraft’s resistance to the extreme aerodynamic forces of supersonic flight. He rode the X-1 while attached to a B-29 mother ship on October 14, 1947, over Rogers Dry Lake in southern California, reaching a height of 25,000 feet (7,600 metres). Yeager became the first person to break the sound barrier when the X-1 launched independently to 40,000 feet (12,000 meters), which is equivalent to an altitude of 662 miles (1,066 kilometers) per hour.
Yeager flew in an F-15 Eagle to mark the 50th anniversary of his historic X-1 flight in 1997 when he was 74 years old.
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, California
Maj. Shuler, who is currently a test pilot for the F-22 at Edwards Air Force Base, would hold the incredible honor of becoming the first pilot to break the sound barrier in a new era of supersonic flying.
This is the only base where I have been stationed where you can go out and do a supersonic test and then come home and have your wife complain that you sonic boomed the house. When I request instead of the High Altitude Supersonic Corridor, I will request the Bell X-1 Supersonic Corridor. I think it will be cool to say on the radioMaj. Shuler jokingly explained
We are proud of our past collaboration and resiliency successes, and we look forward to building on our historic past to advance aviation technology and innovation both at Edwards Air Force Base and everywhere else- Brig. Gen. Matthew Higer, Commander, 412th Test Wing said.
A group of Airmen demonstrated that the sound barrier was not impenetrable less than a month after the Air Force became a separate service. They broke Mach 2 through 6 above Edwards AFB during the following 15 years thanks to continuing collaboration between the Air Force, NASA, and other contractors, and their accomplishment signaled the start of a new era in aviation.
The High Altitude Supersonic Corridor is officially dead. We rename that chunk of airspace, that critical piece of our infrastructure in the test and training environment in honor of the team of Big A Airmen whose collective individual contributions join into something much powerful than they could have ever imaginedBrig. Gen. Matthew Higer
Thousands of young students had the opportunity to witness the innovative spirit of forerunners like Charles Yeager, Jack Ridley, Robert Cardenas, and Jack Russell still permeate the remote area of the Mojave Desert where they made history shortly after the first sonic boom in the renamed Bell X-1 Supersonic Corridor sounded above Edwards.
We are going to use the supersonic corridor every week to go out and do envelope expansion missions, we got new hardware we are putting on the F-22. This jet is our air dominance fighter that we will be using for the next decade. There is a lot of work left to do. Hopefully, we can inspire the next generation to study hard and build the next thing- he further added.