Historic X-1 on display at San Diego Air & Space Museum

X-1 first to break sound barrier

SAN DIEGO - Two years in the making, a replica of the first plane to break the sound barrier now hangs in the rotunda of the San Diego Air & Space Museum.

"She looks great," said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Bob Cardenas, who took part in the historic flight in 1947.

Cardenas was behind the controls of a B-29 bomber that carried the X-1 into the air. At altitude, X-1 pilot Chuck Yeager climbed into the rocket and blasted into aviation history.

"Breaking the sound barrier changed the scope of what was going to be done in aviation and space," said San Diego Air & Space Museum President Jim Kidrick, who is a former Naval aviator.

It took eight tries, but on the ninth attempt, Yeager, Cardenas, and Bob Hoover -- who was in the chase plane -- made history.

All three were grand marshals in the 2012 Veterans Day parade in San Diego. All three were also inducted into the museum's hall of fame.

The X-1 rocket aircraft hangs in the rotunda near another historic aviation replica, the Spirit of St. Louis and the real capsule used in the Apollo 9 space mission.

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