How much research did you do for this?
Actually, quite a bit. I already had this idea for the story a good week or so before you announced this contest, so I was already researching some of the information used. Your topic choice, as I mentioned, fit perfectly with this story idea, so I went with it.
I got the idea from the phrase "Chasing the sun", and began from there. I remembered a TV movie about a Concorde where the pilot mentioned that if they went fast enough west, the sun would never set. So I had to research just HOW fast that would be. Then it hit me to kill off the pilot, and the most logical choice was to make him a test pilot during the late '40s (Chuck Yeager's era). So I then had to look up what planes were used, how they were designed, how fast Yeager went, how fast would the X-1 go, and various things like that. I pulled the bar from The Right Stuff
movie (it's supposed to be the same one). I pulled a lot from my memory of that movie in fact, and had to research what I'd forgotten or what they'd left out.
My big problem was how to kill him off. It had to be something that HE did to cause the plane to disintegrate. I came up with loosening the canopy, but through the reserch discovered that the X-1 didn't have a canopy like you see on most fighter planes, but a door in the right (starboard) side of the plane. So I had to look at the plane's design some to see if it was even possible... and made up the rest. In reality, I'm not even sure if what Bobby did would have been enough to take off that door, but...
Glad you enjoyed.