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Fri, Oct 28, 2005

Gone West: Chalmers 'Slick' Goodlin

He Was The FIRST X-1 Pilot

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, FL.

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.

www.hq.nasa.gov

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