US Air Force legend General Chuck Yeager weighs in on the F-22 and F-35

Chuck YeagerDVIDSHUBUnited States Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles E. ‘Chuck’ Yeager, retired, prepares to board an F-15D Eagle from the 65th Aggressor Squadron Oct. 14, 2012, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. In a jet piloted by Capt. David Vincent, 65th AGRS pilot, Yeager is commemorating the 65th anniversary of his historic breaking of the sound barrier flight, Oct. 14, 1947, in the Bell XS-1 rocket research plane named ‘Glamorous Glennis.’

You may know that Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager of the US Air Force holds the distinctions of being the first man to travel faster than the speed of sound, is one of the force’s most prolific-ever test pilots, and is perhaps the greatest military pilot of all time — but did you know he’s very active on Twitter?

Recently, the legendary general weighed in on the $1 trillion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. Here’s what he said:

“Waste of money.”

This is a far cry from the current Air Force brass’ ringing endorsement of the “game-changing” aircraft. But at around $100 million each, with the highest price tag ever associated with developing a weapons system, perhaps Yeager thinks the money would be better spent on training pilots and maintaining a more traditional Air Force.

So I thought to ask him what he thought about restarting the F-22, the world’s first fifth-gen aircraft. While the F-22 costs are also very high, it functions a bit more like a traditional fighter jet than the multi-role F-35, which I thought maybe Yeager would appreciate. So what did he think?

So there you have it. According to perhaps the greatest living military pilot, the entire fifth generation of US Air Force jets are a waste of money. 

Better luck next time. 

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