March 21, 1962

On This Date in in 1962 a bear became the first creature to be ejected at supersonic speeds and it actually lived through the experience. The US Military had a fast jet called the Convair B-58 that flew at supersonic speeds, but it had one problem. It had the standard ejection seats and at supersonic speeds and high altitudes, there was a very good chance that the crew of the Convair B-58 would not survive any emergency ejection. The military worked with Stanley Aircraft to develop a solution that would enable their highly trained pilots and crew to survive a supersonic and high altitude ejection. Their solution was to develop an ‘escape capsule’, which they did, but they had one problem. They didn’t want to test it on a human, so they decided on the next best thing, a bear, which was close to the same height and weight of a human. On March 21, 1962, the US Military tricked a female bear named ‘Yogi’ to get into the escape capsule. The military then placed the capsule in the Convair jet, flew up to 35,000 feet and brought it to a speed of 870 miles before ejecting the capsule. Lucky for Yogi, the military did remember to build a parachute onto the capsule and eight minutes later the capsule floated to the earth and on pissed off bear was allowed to exit the capsule. How did the military trick Yogi into getting into the capsule in the first place? A pick-a-nik basket, of course.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
This entry was posted in 20th Century, Historical Facts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *