02-13-2014, 04:50 PM
#1
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He really has had the "right stuff."

Per Wikipedia:
Charles Elwood "Chuck" Yeager (born February 13, 1923) is a retired brigadier general in the United States Air Force and noted test pilot. In 1947, he became the first pilot to (officially) travel faster than sound.

Yeager's career began in World War II as a private in the United States Army Air Forces. After serving as an aircraft mechanic, in September 1942 he entered enlisted pilot training and upon graduation was promoted to the rank of flight officer (the World War II USAAF equivalent to warrant officer) and became a North American P-51 Mustang fighter pilot.

After the war, Yeager became a test pilot of many types of aircraft including experimental rocket-powered aircraft. As the first human to break the sound barrier on October 14, 1947, he flew the experimental Bell X-1 at Mach 1 at an altitude of 45,000 ft (13,700 m). Although Scott Crossfield was the first to fly faster than Mach 2 in 1953, Yeager shortly thereafter set a new record of Mach 2.44.[1]

Yeager later commanded fighter squadrons and wings in Germany and in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, and in recognition of the outstanding performance ratings of those units he then was promoted to brigadier general. Yeager's flying career spans more than 60 years and has taken him to every corner of the globe, including the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War.

Yeager's popularity soared in the 1980s, when he was prominently featured in Tom Wolfe's book The Right Stuff and in its 1983 movie adaptation, in which he was portrayed by Sam Shepard.

"That’s all a man needs… To be forty years old and to fall one hundred goddamned thousand feet in a flat spin and punch out and make a million-dollar hole in the ground and get half his head and his hand burned up and have his eye practically ripped out of his skull and have the Good Samaritan, A.A.D., arrive as if sent by the spirit of Pancho Barnes herself to render a midnight verdict among the motherless Joshua trees while screen doors bang and the pictures of a hundred dead pilots rattle in their frames: ‘My God!… you look awful.’" —Tom Wolfe, The Right Stuff

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 02-15-2014, 08:06 PM
#2
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I didn't find out 'til long after, but he used to fly this thing out of Santa Monica Airport, which was up the block from where I lived at the time. I'd watch this strange little aircraft buzz around the landing pattern, wondering who the "hobbyist" was. Little did I realize . . .

I think he was 80 then.

[Image: SvbjR6k.jpg]

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 02-16-2014, 07:09 AM
#3
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Back when men were men. These days pajamaboys are heralded as heroes.

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 02-16-2014, 08:15 AM
#4
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Much respect to one of the all time great Americans.

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