august memories / 23


23rd August, 1949 : The United States and Britain are both vying to keep ahead in aviation, with new military and civil aircraft pushing for the heights and speeds never before dreamt of. The Hadley Page Hermes made its first flight today with its makers boasting it will be the fastest turbo-prop passenger plane yet, capable of 353 mph fully laden with 63 passengers and more than two-and-a-half tons of baggage. But even that will not compare with the 500 mph expected of the Comet passenger jet when it enters service. The Americans are pushing higher into the skies. An experimental Bell X-1 plane just reached the astonishing height of 63,000 feet, a new record, almost on the edge of space.

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