On the morning of Oct. 14, 1947, U.S. Air Force test pilot Capt. Charles E. (Chuck) Yeager became the first man to successfully fly faster than the speed of sound. Anniversaries often provide us with opportunities to reflect on the past, but they can also be used as benchmarks for assessing the future. In the following series of articles, an Aviation Week&Space Technology editorial team examines where we are--and where we may be going--in the realm of airbreathing, sustained high-speed ...

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