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Breaking the sound barrier without an airplane

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This amazing free fall record still stands more than 50 years later.



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He came close. Most accounts however, suggest that he did not break the sound barrier. More impressive however, is that on a previous jump from 76,000ft, Kittinger had a premature parachute deployment which spun him out of control. He sustained 22g's (a record) and blacked out, waking up on the ground in New Mexico. His emergency equipment worked perfectly and saved his life. Personally, I wouldn't have tried that again. But we all know he jumped again, going higher and faster. I met Joe last year at a book signing. Amazing guy with fantastic stories. He holds many gas balloon records including the "first solo trans atlantic flight in a balloon". He was an Air Force test pilot with many harrowing and incredible stories. He helped John Stapp (the rocket sled guy) develop ejection seats and egress systems. Also, most people don't know that he deployed to Vietnam 3 times and in 72' was shot down in an F4 ejecting at low altitude near Mach 1. He spent 11 months in the Hanoi Hilton. He recently published a book called "Come up and get me" which I would recommend to any aviator.

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