Chuck Yeager Flies West.

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by ktup-flyer, Dec 7, 2020.

  1. Ed Haywood

    Ed Haywood Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2020
    Messages:
    682
    Location:
    Tampa FL

    Display name:
    Big Ed
    When someone lives that long and accomplishes that much, we celebrate his life, not mourn his passing.

    Who cares if he wasn't always the nicest guy? Guys with big brass ones are often combative. It's part of what drove him to achieve what he did.
     
    RyanB likes this.
  2. TonyG

    TonyG Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Messages:
    44

    Display name:
    TonyG
    My family has a Chuck Yeager story that I heard in my younger years. My dad was a USAF fighter pilot for his entire career (F-100s, F-111s, F-4s, F-16s). One of his good friends, also a fighter pilot (at least F-104s, not sure what else) went to Oshkosh with us one year back in the '80s. Over beers after a fun day looking at airplanes, my dad's friend (Sam) told us this story:

    Sometime in the late '60s or early '70s, Sam was in New Mexico (Holloman or Kirtland, pretty sure it wasn't Cannon). There was going to be an air show / open house, and it was going to include a few flying WWI sopwith pups and such. Maybe replicas, but they had the weird engines that bolted the crank to the airplane and spun the engine. Chuck Yeager was also on the base. Sam somehow ended up having a beer with Chuck Yeager and the guy that owned the WWI airplanes. Being a cocky young fighter pilot, Sam said "you know, I'd really like to fly one of your airplanes." The owner (I'll call him Tom, no clue what his name really was) was clearly looking for a way out. So he turns to Chuck Yeager (apparently a friend of his), and says "I don't know, Chuck, what do you think I should do?"

    Yeager says: "Hell, Tom, I'd let him fly one!". Thus boxed in, Tom agreed. Sam had an absolute hoot flying the thing - said it would turn on a dime one way, and pretty much not turn the other. Didn't wreck it. Decided Chuck Yeager was his personal hero.

    Fun story.

    Sam was also one of the few guys deployed to Vietnam in F-104s, used for ground support - something he declared one of the stupidest ideas anyone ever had. Lots of stories there, too.

    --Tony
     
  3. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,620
    Location:
    west Texas

    Display name:
    Dave Taylor
    On the wall across from me is a signed Grinnell print 'the first time I saw a jet, I shot it down' aka 'Yeager's first jet'
    I must give credit to my wife who noted this artwork last night "Isn't he in that back bedroom?"
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2020
  4. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    14,044
    Location:
    high desert NM

    Display name:
    Billy
    It was back in' 72 or '73 and there was a 14 year old kid sitting on the shore of Lake Travis, in Texas, hanging on to a fishing pole. I was watching a Cessna 0-2 at about 500 feet over the water when another 0-2 came from behind a cloud and jumped the first 0-2 from above and behind. Those 2 planes went vertical up as far as they could go, then down, then back up. Every time they went down they got a little closer to the water. After 5 or 6 of the up/down maneuvers, they went their separate ways. I have never heard props make that kind of noise since.

    I did not read the autobiography until about 12-14 years ago. That is when I realized that as a kid I had witnessed Chuck Yeager in a mock dogfight.

    I never was a great fan, but I respected all he had accomplished, considering his back ground. He always stated he was in the right place at the right time. I kind of feel he should have added that he also knew the right folks in the right places at the right time.
     
    PeterNSteinmetz likes this.
  5. MacFly

    MacFly Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    May 11, 2020
    Messages:
    531

    Display name:
    MacFly
    Chuck Yeager was an excellent-to-exceptional, courageous pilot. He served his county with honor and he deserves our respect. The legend that Chuck Yeager became was created by Tom Wolfe. "The Right Stuff" is about 90% of who we believe him to be. Not that that is a bad thing....the country needs its heroes and how he got to be one of them is probably irrelevant. In that context, I think that a supersonic missing man formation would be exceptionally cool. I'll bet he'd rather have 4 sonic booms than an O-7's 17-gun salute.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2020
    G-Man likes this.
  6. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    3,598
    Location:
    Seattle

    Display name:
    Ron Wanttaja
    One of the few notes of regret in Yeager's autobiography is the fact that the weather was bad the day of his retirement ceremony. Not one plane flew overhead.

    I think they need to compensate for that at his funeral....

    Ron Wanttaja
     
    SoCal RV Flyer likes this.
  7. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2014
    Messages:
    3,065

    Display name:
    Jack Fleetwood
    A lot of people say he wasn't the nicest guy because they read it somewhere or heard someone else say it. I only had a couple of phone conversations with him, but he was very nice to me. I felt like I couldn't get in a question because he wanted to know about me! I know my experience doesn't mean he was always a nice guy, but he was to me!
     
  8. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2014
    Messages:
    3,065

    Display name:
    Jack Fleetwood
  9. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Messages:
    9,307

    Display name:
    Aztec Flyer
    People seem to forget he was the Program Chairman for 10 years ('94 to '04) of the EAA's Young Eagles program. Difficult for me to imagine someone who was genuinely not a "nice guy" being very effective in that role for that long. Like any easily recognized celebrity it was probably difficult for General Yeager to avoid the public, and sometimes some eager fan's expectations were not met completely, and here comes the likely unrepresentative reputational story that persists.

    RIP General! A life well lived.
     
    SoonerAviator and Lowflynjack like this.
  10. nauga

    nauga Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    2,896
    Location:
    Rockwood Storage Facility

    Display name:
    Mantis Toboggan, MD
    [​IMG]

    Nauga,
    who knows when to keep his mouth shut
     
  11. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz En-Route PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2015
    Messages:
    2,653
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ

    Display name:
    PeterNSteinmetz
    Rotary engine I believe. Very strong gyroscopic effect with the cylinders rotating.
     
  12. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    3,598
    Location:
    Seattle

    Display name:
    Ron Wanttaja
    We have to remember that British pilots back then were TRAINED in rotary-engined aircraft. Their primary trainer was the Avro 504K. It had a placard on the panel on how to make left turns: "Move rudder and warp controls to the left simultaneously...center the rudder, move warp controls slightly right....Press right rudder and right warp control simultaneously to level wings."

    There WASN'T a placard of instructions on how to make a right turn. Because students weren't allowed to perform them without an instructor.

    The Sopwith Camel (the poster child for problems with rotary engines) had other problems going for it, such as massive adverse yaw because the ailerons were hinged on the bottom. All subsequent Sopwiths were hinged on the top.....

    Ron Wanttaja
     
    FancyG and PeterNSteinmetz like this.