Chuck Yeager's greatest accomplishment?

Sure , everyone knows Chuck Yeager was first man to "break" the sound barrier but could the following sentence depict a greater accomplishment?

Flying the new supersonic F-100 Super Sabres, the 1st was considered one of the Tactical Air Command’s (TAC) elite units. TAC was then in the process of developing in-flight refueling capabilities to support long-range deployments of fighter units. Such complex operations were still very problematic. Mission aborts, navigational mistakes, communications failures and tanker rendezvous miscalculations were common. In 1958, Yeager planned and led the first flawless trans-Atlantic deployment of a jet fighter squadron in TAC history, as all of the 1st’s F-100s landed together and on schedule at Moron Air Base, Spain.


JetDoc; see what you might have a point...just don't know enough about the man.

6 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Surviving his career. Like Charles Lindbergh he achieved things by being in the right place, the right time, and being lucky.

    He was a gifted pilot, but he intimidated those who knew more about a specific subject than him... but were less experienced overall. He had good hands and feet, but his critical thinking and ability to follow procedures was not as good.

    A perfect example is when he was flying the NF-104. This isn't the Tom Wolfe version, so don't worry.

    In order to fly jets and rockets to reach maximum speed and altitude, the flight profiles have to be bang on. A computer will actually do a better job, which is why no rocket launches are manually controlled.

    In order to make the apex of the zoom the highest, Chuck needed to set a specific pitch attitude very low in the climb, where there was enough air to effectively change the velocity vector of the aircraft. There was even an instrument that told him when he achieved that angle. But he ignored it, and gradually increased the pitch angle... perhaps seeking to conserve airspeed. But as the plane climbed higher, it remained at a large angle of attack because the wings couldn't produce the extra lift to change the velocity vector. So the plane was climbing too shallow, in a draggy high angle of attack configuration, and at higher altitude you had the reaction control thusters fighting it too, causing more drag.

    As a result, Chuck never achieved the maximum altitudes that other, less skilled pilots in the program did.

  • JetDoc
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    I've met the man. Shook his hand. He's a great story teller and a magnetic personality.

    General Yeager was without a doubt an excellent pilot and did some amazing things, but probably the best thing he ever did is promote himself. It's hard to separate the BS from the facts in much of his history, and much of what he did was blown out of proportion to his actual accomplishments.

    In your example of flying a squadron of fighter jets from the USA to Spain... Did he fly all those airplanes by himself, or were there other pilots and crews also involved, and if so... how much did the others contribute to his 'success' without geting credit for the part they played?

  • 9 years ago

    Surviving WWII.

    "He had gained one victory before he was shot down over France on his eighth mission, on March 5, 1944. He escaped to Spain on March 30 with the help of the Maquis (French Resistance) and returned to England on May 15, 1944.

    Had he not survived the shoot down, he would not have achieved all his other accomplishments.

    Source(s): I remembered this information out of his book which is in my library. Quote came from this source.
  • 9 years ago

    His greatest accomplishment is that he did all the things he did and is still alive to tell about them!

    No doubt he is one of an elite group but no one lives in a vacuum and no one accomplishes those records by themselves.

    If you want to learn about him try "Chuck Yeager" as a search term, there is plenty to read!

    Source(s): TL
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  • 9 years ago

    His greatest accomplishment has been to survive to his present age of 89 and avoid dying in his 65+ year flying career. I'm sure he would agree with that assessment.

  • 9 years ago


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