Yogi the Supersonic Bear

We all know what bears do in the woods... but did you know what they did in the Hustler?

21 March 1962: Yogi, the black bear, became the first to eject at supersonic speeds when the USAF tested the B-58 Hustler′s escape capsule. Ejected at 35,000 feet at 870 mph. Ejection was successful, Yogi's chute deployed, and he touched down unharmed 7 minutes, 49 seconds later.

The Stanley escape capsule had proved extremely effective against the high wind blast, the extreme cold and the low air pressure. In a secondary test 2 weeks later, another bear named Big John was ejected at 45,000 and at a speed over 1,000 mph!

Once again the capsule ejection was a success, and the bear reached the ground displeased, but unharmed.




  • Ken Rucker

    As a budding TV journalist in the late 1960s, I happened to be among the first to the scene where one of those capsules hit the ground when the parachute failed to open. Not a pretty picture of the inside of that capsule.

  • Martin Philpot

    The real story here, is the poor ground techs that had to unstrap Ol’ Yogi and Big John from the ejection capsules… Not a job I’d want… Just sayin’

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