He was on the verge of aviation stardom -- set to become the
fastest man alive. But it wasn't to be for Chalmers "Slick"
Goodlin, who died last week at the age of 82.
Goodlin, a Bell Aircraft test pilot, was actually the first man
to fly the X-1, the first plane to break the sound barrier. But,
then the Air Force took over the X-1 project and Bell refused to
pay Slick the $150,000 bonus it promised him to make the supersonic
flight. Instead, that job fell to another guy with a reputed
penchant for Beeman's chewing gum. His name: Chuck Yeager.
Goodlin died October 20th at his home in West Palm Beach,
Chalmers Goodlin has gone west, where a promise is a promise and
flight is as fast as you want it to be. Happy Landings, Slick.