A new supersonic corridor was unveiled during the 75th Anniversary of Supersonic Flight Ceremony at the 2022 Aerospace Valley Open House, Air Show & STEM Expo, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Oct. 14-16, 2022.
This supersonic corridor was renamed to pay tribute to the courageous team that together drove the world to new feats of human achievement. Maj. Alex “Brick” Shuler, F-22 Test Pilot became the first pilot to break the sound barrier in the newly named “Bell X-1 Supersonic Corridor.”
“What I wanted to do, was work on airplanes for basically my whole life,” Maj. Shuler explained. “I remember a NASA Super Hornet pilot came to our school and basically talked about his career. That was sort of the day that I realized that I needed to change paths on my life and no kidding, signed up for the Air Force the next week. My dream the whole time going through Test Pilot School was to fly an F-22.”
Now an F-22 Test Pilot at Edwards, Shuler would have the extraordinary distinction of making history as the first pilot to break the sound barrier in a new era of supersonic flight.
“This is the only base where I have been stationed where you can go out and do a supersonic test and then come home and have your wife complain that you sonic boomed the house,” Shuler jokingly explained. “When I request instead of the High Altitude Supersonic Corridor, I will request the Bell X-1 Supersonic Corridor. I think it will be cool to say on the radio.”
“The High Altitude Supersonic Corridor is officially dead,” Brig. Gen. Matthew Higer, commander, 412th Test Wing said. “We rename that chunk of airspace, that critical piece of our infrastructure in the test and training environment in honor of the team of Big A Airmen whose collective individual contributions join into something much powerful than they could have ever imagined.”
While we are celebrating our past achievements of teamwork and resilience, we are also looking ahead to our proud heritage that leads to the future of aviation technology and innovation here on Edwards Air Force Base and beyond.
“We are going to use the supersonic corridor every week to go out and do envelope expansion missions, we got new hardware we are putting on the F-22. This jet is our air dominance fighter that we will be using for the next decade.
There is a lot of work left to do. Hopefully we can inspire the next generation to study hard and build the next thing.”