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NACA test pilot Robert Champine is seen in the cockpit of the Douglas D-558-1 Skystreak with the ground crew. Robert A. Champine was a research pilot with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from December 1947 to 1979, when he retired as Langley Research Center’s senior research pilot. He began his career with the NACA at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in Hampton, Virginia (as Langley Research Center was then called). He transferred to the NACA’s High-Speed Flight Research Station in the Mojave Desert of California in October 1948, where he flew the X-1 and D-558-1 and -2 research airplanes. On December 2, 1948, Bob became the 6th man and 3rd civilian to break the mysterious sound barrier. He exceeded Mach 1 on NACA flight 23 checking handling qualities and pressure distribution on the XS-1 #2, after having been dropped from the B-29 mother ship, above the Rogers Dry Lake in California. On August 4, 1949, NACA flight 32, he again exceeded Mach 1 performing rolls, pullups, sideslips, and check of stabilizer effectiveness. This was his 13th and last flight in the XS-1. He flew the first NACA research flight of the D-558-1 #3 (Skystreak) on April 22, 1949, and the first NACA research flight of the D-558-2 #2 (Skyrocket) on May 24, 1949, beginning the supersonic research program for these aircraft on June l, 1949.