The Boeing Joint Strike Fighter X-32A concept demonstrator breaks the sound barrier for the first time on Dec. 21, 2000. Lt. Col. Edward Cabrera, U.S. Air Force lead test pilot assigned to the Boeing X-32A test program, took the X-32A to 30,000 feet and exceeded Mach 1.0, at 8:30 a.m. PST. The supersonic milestone was achieved during the aircraft's 49th flight since its first flight, on Sept. 18, 2000. Cabrera said the X-32A "approached and exceeded Mach 1 effortlessly." Earlier in the month, Boeing successfully completed all customer-required aircraft carrier variant low-speed handling quality tests. Boeing will continue using the X-32A to expand the flight envelope and demonstrate key performance capabilities of the conventional-takeoff-and-landing (CTOL) aircraft.