Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Gripen praise from a living legend.

I'm not a fighter pilot.  Heck, I'm not even in the military.  The truth is, everything I know about fighter aircraft I have learned from another's perspective, be it from a book, a web page, or a personal conversation.  I am not an expert, nor do I claim to be.  I am merely a guy with a computer, a family history in the military, and a former background in both journalism and engineering.

One thing I learned from my journalism days is that information is key, and opinions only matter if they come from knowledge and experience.  When someone with a wealth of knowledge and experience on the subject matter speaks:  You listen.

I can think of no greater speaker on the subject matter than Brigadier General Charles Elwood Yeager.  WWII flying ace, flight instructor, and the first man to pilot an aircraft past the sound barrier.

Yeah, THAT Chuck Yeager.
"The General" has been keeping current, and has maintained a Facebook page.  He certainly doesn't mind voicing his opinion, and has been recounting his days flying in WWII, as well as answering questions about modern jet fighters.  If it flies, there's a pretty good chance The General has flown it, be it SR-71, F-15, or whatever.  He claims 361 different aircraft models, and I certainly won't question him.

Today, General Yeager was asked his opinion on Swedish aircraft.  This was his response:

Q. Have u flown any swedish SAAB aircraft - J-35 Draken, J-37 Viggen or J-39 Gripen? A. I've flown all three. Very good fighters - esp the JS-39 Gripen. I was in South Africa and watched the South Africans flying them and they are doing a beautiful job. And it probably cost 1/10th as much as the F-35.
It doesn't really get any clearer than that.

What does the good General think of the F-35?
I was asked my opinion about the F-35. It's a waste of money. Far too expensive. Give me an F-15 E - less expensive, will do the job.
In response to his Gripen post, a commenter "reminded" the General and another commenter of something:
 ...please let me remind you that the F-35 was not designed as dog fighter...

To which The General gave his (epic) response.
Really? What's it designed for? 

You can follow General Chuck Yeager on Facebook here:  https://www.facebook.com/chuck.yeager.376

[NOTE: Yeager's comments do not indicate any sort of commercial endorsement. I would also like to remind everybody that I am not affiliated with Saab in any way, and I receive no income from this ad-free website.]


  1. > Really? What's it designed for?

    This made my day :)

  2. I guess the General still likes the Gripen :

    Chuck Yeager (@GenChuckYeager) tweetade kl. 1:57 FM on ons, maj 01, 2013:

    F-20 was a beautiful a/c. In fact when you look at the JAS-39 Grippen you're looking at a lot of the F-20 capability which is outstanding.