They were in a two-man race to break the sound barrier. It was October 1947, a time before high-speed digital computers, when predictions of what would happen to fighter planes at such speeds were nebulous. Chuck Yeager and George Welch, two great fighter pilots from World War II, were about to explore the unknown in the bright blue sky over the Mojave Desert. Aces Wild: The Race for Mach 1 is the story of these two courageous men who dueled to become the first to fly at supersonic speed, Mach 1, in an aircraft. The book attempts to set the record straight as to who actually broke the sound barrier first.
One pilot, the more celebrated of the duo, is still alive today. Aces Wild also tells the story of the other aviator, George Welch, who lost his life in 1954 while once again flying beyond the technological wisdom of his day over the Mojave Desert. Aces Wild traces the story of fighter planes from the start of World War II at Pearl Harbor through the transition to jets in the 1950s. The author reveals the views of supersonic flight before and after 1947 by pilots, scientists, engineers, business interests, the government, and the media. This dramatic tale will appeal to aviation buffs and all readers, especially those who enjoyed Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff.