Chuck Yeager: In honour of a legend. Chuck Yeager passed on the 7th of December 2020. This legendary test pilot did it all. Over a career that spanned decades, he accumulated 17,000 flight hours on 150 different platforms!
Chuck Yeager joined the USAF in 1941 and flew against the Germans in WWII. During that conflict, he became an ace twice over (12 confirmed kills). After WWII, he became a test pilot and became the first man to break the sound barrier in 1947 with the Bell X1 experimental plane. Yeager did so with two broken ribs. A fact he hid from his superiors for fear another pilot would be selected for the mission!
During the Korean War, Chuck Yeager was one of the first American pilots to test-fly the Soviet MiG-15. In 1953, he also became one of the first men to reach Mach 2. By 1962, Yeager had become the first commandant of the newly created USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School, which produced astronauts for NASA and the USAF. Chuck was training future astronauts, something he could not become himself because he only had high-school qualifications!
By 1966, Yeager was in Vietnam where he flew 127 combat missions. He retired from the USAF in 1975 after 33 years in active duty… But remained a consulting test pilot for both the USAF and NASA.
Throughout the 1980’s, he worked for General Motors. But in 1986, he was appointed by president Reagan to the commission investigating the accident of the Challenger Space Shuttle. During the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, Yeager flew for Piper Aircraft. He took that opportunity to notch in several new world records!
In 2012, aged 89, he was in the cockpit of a F-15 as a copilot and broke the sound barrier again, 65 years after having done so for the first time ever.
Yeager was a legend. He featured in the movie “The Right Stuff” in 1983 and even played a cameo appearance in it. He also worked as a technical advisor for Electronic Arts for three video games including “Chuck Yeager Air Combat” .
His awards cabinet is larger than the average house and he set and broke a multitude of records…
Rest in Peace, General.