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Famous Pilots: Chuck Yeager

Written by on Monday, February 13th, 2012

When we think of public speaker roles, pilots aren’t the first people who come to mind, but in fact a pilot’s voice is more important than we might think. Anyone who’s ever flown in a commercial jet or listened to pilots on television is probably familiar with the stereotypical pilot voice. Pilots often project their voice in a smooth, soft register that is dry and completely devoid of any anxiety. It’s an effective calming technique that instills confidence and serenity to an audience during an otherwise stressful event.

Many people attribute the origin of that speaking pattern to Chuck Yeager, the legendary American pilot. Yeager likely developed his smooth speaking style during his years as a flight instructor, but his speaking style became popularized after he was lifted into the media spotlight by being the first man to officially break the sound barrier in a level aircraft.

On October 14, 1947, while flying the experimental Bell X-1, Chuck Yeager achieved a speed of Mach 1.07 at an altitude of 45,000 ft. But Yeager did not enter the military as an experimental test pilot; it was only after years of aerial service that he earned the opportunity to break this historic record.

Gifted with a remarkable 20/10 eyesight, which gave him twice the visual acuity of other buy valium mexican pharmacy pilots, Yeager had what it took to become a world-class pilot. While he initially wasn’t able to become a pilot because he did not meet minimum requirements, the escalating conditions of World War II persuaded the Army Air Forces to lower their recruiting standards.

Yeager took to the skies as naturally as a fish takes to water. He became a decorated pilot with many successful missions, climbing the ranks to captain during his service. After the war, he was eventually selected as a test pilot for the rocket-powered Bell X-1.

In a unique quirk of history and a stunning example of human perseverance, Yeager broke 2 ribs from horseback riding the day before his scheduled flight. Fearing that he would be removed from the project, he got patched up by a veterinarian at a nearby town. Yeager enlisted his friend to help him rig a device that would enable him to seal the hatch of the X-1 despite the pain in his abdomen.

Yeager piloted the X-1 successfully and achieved a record-breaking speed of Mach 1.07, and he later went on to break the Mach 2.0 barrier, reaching a top speed of 2.44. Since then, Yeager has become a household name, with his calm confidence influencing American pop culture for decades.

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