first man to break the sound barrier

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by nimrod.michaeli, May 11, 2009.

  1. nimrod.michaeli

    nimrod.michaeli New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    wiki says that george welch broke the speed of soud as it says

    and for allegedly being the first pilot to break the 'sound barrier' (two weeks before Chuck Yeager) in his prototype XP-86 Sabre.

    so who broke the sound barrier first yeager or welch?
     
  2. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,627
    Likes Received:
    209
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Aviation QMS/SMS consultant
    Location:
    Blenheim
    Sound barrier: Facts, Discussion Forum, and Encyclopedia Article

    From this, it looks like the F86 could have broken the sound barrier, but, like any record, it has to be properly recorded to be oficially "broken"
     
  3. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    6,977
    Likes Received:
    570
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Bioinformatician
    Location:
    Dordrecht
    AFAIK the Sabre couldn't break the sound barrier in level flight. (note level) Chuck yeager was the first to do so in the Bell X-1.
     
  4. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    41,790
    Likes Received:
    519
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Doctor
    Location:
    Portsmouth / Royal Deeside, UK
    Home Page:
    Yep, Marcel has it. Yeager was the first to do it in level flight. Welch possibly broke it first although in a dive not level flight.
     
  5. Soren

    Soren Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Messages:
    6,624
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The F-86 could regularly did break the soundbarrier in dives, and according to research the Me-262 was capable of it as-well although it was extremely dangerous. So as to wether the Me-262 was first, maybe, maybe not. Some also suggest that the Me-163 was the first a/c to break the soundbarrier, and again it might and it might not have.
     
  6. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,627
    Likes Received:
    209
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Aviation QMS/SMS consultant
    Location:
    Blenheim
    But, as Marcel put it, Yeager was the first to do it in level flight, all of the other aircraft had to dive to do it.

    From the pilots descriptions, I would be of the opinion that the Me 262 did go supersonic in a dive.

    So, I guess who "broke the sound barrier" depends on whether you will accept it being done in a dive, or whether you want to stick level flight. I kind of think that it has to be in level flight to be considered.
     
  7. TheMustangRider

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    United States
    There are also claims that P-47 pilots managed to go supersonic in a dive and even a Spitfire pilot if I remember correctly.
     
  8. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2,934
    Likes Received:
    105
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    retired avionics engineer
    Location:
    Southern California
    I am sure the Bell X-1 was first properly intrumented supersonic flight. All others are claims are claims, correct or not, hard to prove. I doubt that any propeller driven aircraft went supersonic.

    Say, whats with the new format and small print. Tough on an old codger!
     
  9. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,090
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Teacher
    Location:
    Japan
    I don’t think that there has ever been any suggestion that the Spitfire went supersonic.

    The airframe and wing simply wasn’t built or designed for it, and propellers are a HUGE source of drag, especially as you approach trans-sonic speeds. You get mixed supersonic airflow and trans-sonic airflow mixing, which is BAD.

    The fastest known dive speed for a Spitfire was .94 mach after a PR XIX pilot over Hong Kong lost consciousness at over 50,000 feet, although the actual speed is disputed as its calculated, not recorded.

    The fastest recorded dive speed for a Spitfire was for a Mk XI (photo recon bird with no wing cannon) at .891 mach. Which involved shedding the prop during the dive.

    Fastest speed for an armed Spitfire was for an FAA MK XVII, which recorded 0.88 mach in a dive. Again, prop sheared off the airframe.
     
  10. TheMustangRider

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    United States
    As Davparlr pointed out those are only claims and very hard to prove in reality, prop driven fighters were ill-equiped to break the sound barrier.
     
  11. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,900
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Still a student
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    I think Welch broke the sound barrier in a dive, but it's possible the Me-163 did as well, especially if they heard the Sonic booms when it dived. That's a good indicator that it went sonic. I can imagine the Me-163 doing that, it was built like a rocket.
     
  12. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    3,672
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Video and multi-media communications expert
    Location:
    FL
    Except by the time it got to altitude... there wasn't much fuel left.

    .
     
  13. nimrod.michaeli

    nimrod.michaeli New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    but it says the first one to break the sound barrier

    it doesnt matter if he did it climbing, turning or diving

    we can say that yeager was the first guy to break the sound barrier in a level flight

    the other guy was the first one to break the sound barrier
     
  14. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,627
    Likes Received:
    209
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Aviation QMS/SMS consultant
    Location:
    Blenheim
    Nimrod,
    The problem is that none of the other aircraft had the instrumentation to be able to verify the claims. A standard airspeed indicator will not read correctly at slose to mach 1 airspeeds, so it becomes very difficult to verify.

    Personally, I do think that others broke the sound barrier prior to the X-1, but an unverified/unsubstantiated claim cannot be taken as proof.

    Just as there were (allegedly) others to fly prior to the Wright brothers, the verifiable proof isn't there, so the credit goes to the Wrights.
     
  15. Soren

    Soren Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Messages:
    6,624
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    As already mentioned the F-86 regularly broke the soundbarrier in dives, with even a special demonstration team forming to do this for crowds of people to wittness.

    As for the Me-163, there are wittness accounts who claim to have heard this a/c break the soundbarrier by hearing a sonic boom. IIRC these claims were made during the testing phase of the a/c where many level flight with full thrust were conducted.
     
  16. renrich

    renrich Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,542
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    real estate
    Location:
    Montrose, Colorado
    I believe the second man was Marion Carl in an AC made by Douglas.
     
  17. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,309
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    re the Me 163. Is it possible to go supersonic in a plane that is wider than it is long? I am under the impression, admittedly just from stuff I have read, that this cannot be done?
     
  18. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    2,729
    Likes Received:
    170
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Aerospaceweb.org | Ask Us - First Supersonic Pilots

    First Supersonic Pilots
    Order Name Nationality Organization Aircraft Date
    1. Charles "Chuck" Yeager USA USAF X-1 #1 14 October 1947
    2. James T. Fitzgerald, Jr. USA USAF X-1 #1 24 February 1948
    3. Herbert "Herb" Hoover USA NACA X-1 #2 10 March 1948
    4. Howard Lilly USA NACA X-1 #2 31 March 1948
    5. George Welch USA North American Aviation XP-86 26 April 1948
    6. Gustav "Gus" Lundquist USA USAF X-1 #1 29 April 1948
    7. John Derry UK de Havilland D.H.108 VW120 9 September 1948
    8. Eugene May USA Douglas Aircraft D-558-1 #1 29 September 1948
    9. Robert "Bob" Champine USA NACA X-1 #2 2 December 1948
    10. I. E. Fedorov USSR Soviet Air Force La-176 26 December 1948
    11. Jackie "Jack" Ridley USA USAF X-1 #1 11 March 1949
     
  19. Soren

    Soren Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Messages:
    6,624
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #19 Soren, May 15, 2009
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
    It can be done and has been done many times. One example is the Northrop X-4.
     
  20. renrich

    renrich Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,542
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    real estate
    Location:
    Montrose, Colorado
    My mistake, Carl set a world speed record in 1947 of 650 mph in a Douglas Skystreak.
     
Loading...

Share This Page