Chuck Yeager is kind of insane, and not just because he supported Duncan Hunter for president (though, seriously, c'mon). A man of great courage and, literally, phenomenal vision, he was one of the first pilots to shoot down a jet aircraft. He once took out two aircraft without a single shot by spooking them into flying into each other. He was chosen to break the sound barrier in the X-1 jet because the original pilot demanded $150,000 before he'd complete the task. If you've seen the film or read the book The Right Stuff, you'll know that Yeager broke two ribs while on horseback two days before the flight and had a vet treat him so as not to tip-off the folks back at base. He also flew the M2-F1, which is also insane.
But he also knew the risks. One of the all-time great pilots, he'd been in enough scrapes to know what could happen. There's a part of us, a part more often seen during our early 20's, that allows us to take risks despite being aware of the possible consequences. Take, for instance, today's post about the North American Eagle jet and the team's ongoing search for a handsome driver. HairyKrishna doesn't think it'll work:
But hey, why not die in style?
Someones going to die in this thing. Look at the amount of work that went into making Thrust SSC not lift off/come to pieces at record speeds. They had an entire team of aerodynamics experts. You can't just cut the wings off a plane, weld together an undercarriage and expect it to work. We're past the speeds where backyard engineering and 'it looks right' will suffice.
I'd drive it though. We're all going to die eventually; may as well make it spectacular.
[Photo: USAF. Wikipedia]