General "Chuck" Yeager Interview

What's new on F-16.net?
  • Author
  • Message
Offline
User avatar

Jon

F-16.net Editor

F-16.net Editor

  • Posts: 1972
  • Joined: 06 Nov 2003, 18:21

Unread post05 Sep 2005, 19:59

General "Chuck" Yeager hardly needs an introduction. On October 14th, 1947, "The Fastest Man Alive" was the first to break the sound barrier in the famous Bell X-1. With 17,000 flying hours in 208 different types of military aircraft, it comes as no surprise that General Yeager also flew the F-16. He has about 100 hours in all blocks up to the Block 52. Although much has been said about his career, little has been written on his experiance with the F-16 'Viper'. General Yeager is known for not holding back when it comes to matters of his opinion. We knew no matter what, this interview will spark debate!

To read the interview click here:

http://www.f-16.net/interviews_article35.html

Enjoy,
Jon
Offline

agilefalcon16

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 401
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2005, 20:59

Unread post06 Sep 2005, 21:04

That was a great interview Jon, but I thought it was rude of Yeager to say "I would take an F-15E over an F-16 any day" to someone who is representing an F-16 website. All he does is groan that the F-16 isn't suited for A2G missions like the F-15E and F-111 are, but doesn't he understand that the F-16 wasn't originally designed for A2G use? I found it hilarious when he didn't even once mention the Viper's A2A capabilities, especially in WVR. I bet he didn't want to talk about it since the Viper's agility is at par (or maybe even superior) to his precious Eagle, and can wipe the floor with the F-111 in WVR. He obviously isn't a Viper fan, perhaps he's just the type that likes those huge gas-guzzling 63-70+ft. fighters. :roll:
Offline

Vipertrunk

Newbie

Newbie

  • Posts: 16
  • Joined: 03 Aug 2005, 12:00

Unread post07 Sep 2005, 07:11

I'm not sure why the "survive down low" issue is a big deal to the General. There is no reason to go low (unless you really want to get your a$$ shot off) because with LGB and JDAM you can achieve a precise hit without descending into the AAA threat envelope. The only reason I can see to go low is for strafe or if the weather forces you to be there (CAS for instance).

I have nothing against the F-15E or the F-111, great airplanes both. However, the simple fact is that, under current USAF philosophy, no aircraft is going into bad-guy land without an F-16CJ there for cover. It's the only airplane in the USAF inventory that can perform every fighter mission we have.

My personal opinion is that General Yeager doesn't like the F-16 because he put his name and reputation behind the ill-fated F-20 Tigershark - which, for political reasons, was never approved for export. Would you care to guess which aircraft was exported instead of the F-20? You guessed it: the F-16.
Offline

TC

F-16.net Moderator

F-16.net Moderator

  • Posts: 3998
  • Joined: 14 Jan 2004, 07:06

Unread post08 Sep 2005, 04:20

agilefalcon16 wrote:I thought it was rude of Yeager to say "I would take an F-15E over an F-16 any day" to someone who is representing an F-16 website.


The man has flown every aircraft in the AF inventory, with the exception of the Raptor. I think he has enough personal experience to pick a preference.

agilefalcon16 wrote:I bet he didn't want to talk about it since the Viper's agility is at par (or maybe even superior) to his precious Eagle


Yeah, but its BVR capabilities, range, and survivability definitely are not. Both are excellent planes, but again, I think Chuck Yeager has enough hours in all fighter aircraft to pick his preference.

As for this interview, don't get too offended. That was just Chuck being Chuck. The folks I've known who have flown with him say that he's a helluva pilot, but he can be a real...when he wants to be.

Beers and MiGs were made to be pounded!
Offline
User avatar

Jon

F-16.net Editor

F-16.net Editor

  • Posts: 1972
  • Joined: 06 Nov 2003, 18:21

Unread post08 Sep 2005, 19:53

TC, I think you are absolutely correct. Basically it is "Chuck being Chuck" and I was certainly not offended that he would badmouth the F-16. I know it is not the perfect aircraft and he really doesn't put it down that much. At first I wondered whether those sections should be removed from the interview, but I liked it the way it is, but worried that there might be a strong negative reaction. Instead, I've truly enjoyed reading all the comments on this post and the post that Scott started. Some points have been brought up that I didn't think of.
Offline

TC

F-16.net Moderator

F-16.net Moderator

  • Posts: 3998
  • Joined: 14 Jan 2004, 07:06

Unread post08 Sep 2005, 21:24

One particular test pilot I know flew at Edwards during one of Yeager's stints there, and said the man could fly anything with wings, but gets absolutely ZERO points in the charm and etiquette department. I for one find him amusing to listen to though. He's kinda like listening to your grandfather tell a fishing story, you know?

Beers and MiGs were made to be pounded!
Offline

Meathook

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 3304
  • Joined: 13 May 2004, 23:37

Unread post10 Feb 2006, 04:54

I met the General at Luke AFB during a Maintenance Banquet in 1986. He had a reputation as being hard to talk too (I have heard this) but on the evening I met him, I never saw anything that resembled that rumor.
He was great to talk with and we even had a beer together, hell, he even took a photo with my wife and I.

I found him to be a very amazing man, of course he is what being a pioneer was all about in Aviation. He is one of the greatest test pilots and man a person can ever meet, most times folks have to read about people like this and folks like Bob Hoover but to meet them in person....takes the cake my friends, takes the cake!.

I can say with great pride I met them both...yep, amazing men, especially General Yeager...WoW.

Of course your interview with him is historic.....Thumbs Up Buddies...Thumbs up!
More than likely have "been there and done that at some point", it sure keeps you young if done correctly
Offline

ViperDude

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 262
  • Joined: 15 Feb 2006, 16:06

Unread post16 Feb 2006, 03:01

Interesting interview..General Dynamics folks always hated when General Yeager got in an F-16, because during the flyoff days he badmouthed the F-16 constantly since he was flying the competition, and I see he hasn't changed much..lol. During my years at EAFB 1984 to 1993 I got the opportunity to brief BG Yeager about 10 times as I was Flight Test Engineer. And he normally flew the chase airplane during my missions. He never flew back seat, and whatever we were testing he had already done it back in the 40's according to him..lol

But here is my personal favorite story about him. His airplane ground aborted one day for no fuel transfer from an external tank so I walk across the ramp to meet him and walk with him to debrief and hell there is a line a mile long of airmen with pictures for him to sign, 8 X 10's coming out of the woodwork!! Normally he could be a real pain in the a$$, but he was doing pretty good that day, when a 2 striper comes up with his "Right Stuff" book to sign. A Tech Sargent says "General Yeager isn't that really nice of airman so and so that he bought your book"? General Yeager looked up and said, "the cheap bastard only bought a paperback"!....Now that was typical Yeager...On a personal level he and I always got along fine, and he signed a picture of him in his Glamorous Glenna airplane to me which I keep on my desk.

Cheers,

Viperdude
Offline

Meathook

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 3304
  • Joined: 13 May 2004, 23:37

Unread post16 Feb 2006, 04:17

Yep..the guy has his moments but I think he likes playing that role too. He could tone it down but then, he would not have that "rep" as being a pain huh ....:-)

But, you got to admit...he is something (or was something very special) both then and now (nobody has done it like this guy, a few are close but he does take the cake (sort of speak). I like him and wish he would calm down but I take him as he is...glad the book and photos got sighed, he could have blown them off but didn't .
More than likely have "been there and done that at some point", it sure keeps you young if done correctly
Offline
User avatar

JoeSambor

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 822
  • Joined: 28 Dec 2004, 05:56

Unread post17 Feb 2006, 12:35

I had the pleasure of meeting Chuck at the 50th Anniversary of the German-American Soaring Club in Traben-Trabach, Germany, in the summer of 2004. I was only one of about five Americans there, I couldn't believe that everybody from Spangdahlem AB (about 30 km away) was not there. I brought along one of the famous "Enemy Fighter Pilot's Worst Nightmare" posters, and Chuck was kind enough to sign it, although I got the impression he really wasn't thrilled about it.

If you think about it, celebrities like General Yeager are asked all the time for their autographs. To someone like me, a part-time aviation buff/historian/F-16 fanatic that autograph is priceless, and I wouldn't part with that poster for any amount of money. However, I'm sure there are some who would have dumped it on E-Bay to the highest bidder in a second. I am sure every time he signs an autograph, he thinks about that. Where will his signature end up? Will it be used for some kind of endorsement without his permission?

Our exchange went something like this:

Me: Good morning, General, I wonder if you would sign this for me.

Chuck: (Looking at poster) F-16, huh? You out of Spangdahlem?

Me: Yes, sir, I am setting up the Lockheed office there.

Chuck: Aren't they doing some mods to those planes?

Me: Yes, sir, they call it CCIP and they're putting some great stuff in.

Chuck: (Signing poster) Well, they need to do something.

Me: Sir, would you mind a photo? (I hold out my hand for Chuck to sign, which he ignores. When I thought about it later, I was not really insulted; if Chuck shook everybody's hand who wanted to shake his, he'd get his hand scratched to hell, not to mention the possibility of picking up an illness)

Chuck: (As I stared at him while waiting for him to shake my hand) Don't look at me, son, look at the camera.

Me: !!!


Best Regards,
Joe Sambor
LM Aero Field Service Engineer
Woensdrecht Logistics Center, The Netherlands
Offline

Meathook

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 3304
  • Joined: 13 May 2004, 23:37

Unread post17 Feb 2006, 13:00

Yea..he does have attitude that's for sure. Sometimes I think he does like the limelight, others times...I think he hates it...never know with this guy. Shame, he could be well liked if he would lighten up a bit.
More than likely have "been there and done that at some point", it sure keeps you young if done correctly

Return to Announcements

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests