A bear named “Yogi” was ejected from a USAF B-58 to test the Hustler’s escape capsule 54 years ago today
Mar 21 2016
By David Cenciotti
“Yogi” was ejected at 35,000 feet, 870 mph.
On Mar. 21, a 2-year old black bear named “Yogi” was ejected from a U.S. Air Force B-58 during tests of the Hustler’s escape capsule.
The bear was ejected at 35,000 feet from the USAF bomber flying at supersonic speed (870 mph): “Yogi” survived the test and landed unharmed 7 minutes, 49 seconds later.
Although the Air Force celebrates the test conducted 54 years ago today as the first ejection of a living creature from a supersonic aircraft, the first live creature to eject from a supersonic jet was George F. Smith, a test pilot of North American Aviation.
Smith ejected at Mach 1.05 from an F-100 Super Sabre off Laguna Beach, California, on Feb. 26, 1955 after experiencing a flight control failure. He spent 5 days in coma and eventually recovered in spite of various injuries.
Image credit: U.S. Air Force