This In-Depth Interview With Chuck Yeager Is An Absolute Must Watch
General Yeager discusses everything from his most harrowing test flights to stealth technology to doing what you love for a living.
Chuck Yeager is a very colorful, larger-than-life character. He is a household name for breaking mankind into the realm of supersonic flight, but his career is so dense with accomplishment and adventure it's hard to imagine it can actually be true. His biography Yeager reads something like a mix between The Right Stuff and Forest Gump. It's one of the best military books you will ever read, but this exceptionally high-quality interview, shot in 1991, is a nearly essential companion to it. In it, Yeager conveys some of his most harrowing cockpit experiences in a way only he can, as well as everything from his thoughts on the future of air combat to the space program. It may have a one hour and 35 minute runtime, but you will be left wanting more.
One of its best parts is when Yeager recounts his crazy ejection from an NF-104A on December 10th, 1963, one he barely survived. This is a major part of Yeager's memoir, but hearing him describe it in person and in detail is even more chilling than reading it. That section begins just after the 28 minute mark:
Beyond his recollections about his amazing career, the video is chock-full with wonderful commentary that still holds up nearly 30 years later, in many cases. This includes discussion on stealth technology, unmanned combat, advanced flight control systems, cockpit automation, smart weapons and even some commentary on the Advanced Tactical Fighter program that was all the rage at the time and eventually gave birth to the F-22A we know today. But maybe the best part is at the one hour and 33 minute mark, when General Yeager gives a little insight about life and doing what you love. I think the wisdom he conveys is especially important in this day and age.
As for General Yeager today, he is still going strong at 95! He just made an appearance at an airshow in West Virginia to celebrate the 71st anniversary of conquering the sound barrier, which obviously blew people's minds:
If you haven't, make sure to order Yeager's biography, it is a must-have for any history, aerospace, or military aficionado.
Contact the author: Tyler@thedrive.com