У интервјуу који ј еобјавио сајт Ф-16.нет чарлс Јегер једноставно сецира Ф-16 говорећи да је он само дело пропаганде и да нема никакву посебну вредност.
- Ф-16 нема никакве посебне карактеристике који други авиони немају боље
- нема могућност преживљавања у даун моду као Ф-15 и Ф-111. у операјији "Ирачка слобода" практично је кориштен као патролни авион за велике висине.
-како би сте унапредили Ф-16?
- Никако. Авион је једноставно толико мали да у њега не стаје опрема за преживљавање на малим висинама, зато све теу опрему морате да качите на спољне носаче, а то га још више успорава па опет не може да преживи на малим висинама.
- Једна од фама је скоро лежећи положај пилота. Џенерал Дајнамикс је тврдио да је то јер пилот може да издржи већа Г-оптерећења. То није истина, то ј епропаганда, седиште је ниско јер никако нису могли да уграде вертикално, а пилот и овако мора да обуче анти-Г одело.
F-16.net: How did you become involved in the F-16 program?
General Yeager: Well, I've been involved in a lot of the development work in the aeroplane. I also worked on the Block 40C auto-terrain following system, infra red zoom systems. Basically a lot of the weapons management systems that were put in the F-16. I worked at Edwards AFB until about two and a half years ago.
F-16.net: What is your general impression with the F-16?
General Yeager: The F-16 was the first computer flight control system aeroplane. The F-16 doesn't have the capability of surviving down low like an F-15 or F-111 did. Basically if you look at what happened in Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom most F-16s were used at high altitude or for combat air patrol. It is basically a relatively easy aircraft to fly, but I would take an F-15E over an F-16 any day.
NVIS test patch. General Yeager was heavily involved in the Night Vision systems on the F-16. (Jon Somerville collection)
F-16.net: In your opinion, what were the most innovative features of the F-16?
General Yeager: I don't think the aeroplane had any. It doesn't have anything any other aeroplanes do better. Just like that there is a lot of propaganda on the F-16. Like they said they would lay the seat back so you could pull more G's without blacking out. The only reason they laid the seat back was it was too long to sit vertical in the cockpit. That was part of General Dynamics' propaganda. Basically an ejection seat handles anything except they came out saying it could pull more G's. That's not true, you have to keep your head up straight anyway.
And on the first F-16s, they had a strain gage on the side arm controller and it didn't move. It seemed that the newer pilot wanted a stick that moved so they knew where the controls were. Well, that is sort of a misconception on there part. But we went ahead and put a moveable side arm controller any way on the first production aeroplane.
Later model F-16s have a BIT which is the Built in Test system which makes the job of test flying easier.
F-16.net:Is the BIT a diagnostic system for the F-16?
General Yeager: No, its a system that allows a pilot to simulate complex flight controls.
F-16.net: Tell me about your early involvement in the fly-by-wire technology.
General Yeager: Well the first computer flight controlled systems were put in an F-106 (General may mean F-8) back in 1965 -1968. Then basically the digital computer flight control system was put in the F-16A which incidentally didn't have any all weather capability at all. It was a day fighter with a gun and sidewinders on the wingtips. Basically, they stayed in the analogue computer technology in the F-16 and it took about 53 different steps to check all the flight control systems on the aircraft up to the block 52 series. Then they went to digital which made very simple flight control systems to check out rather easily without being fragile.
F-16.net: Now what would you do in a typical F-16 flight?
General Yeager: I could write a book about it. You know your job: auto terraine following, Infra-red, weapons management systems and departure prevention system flights.
F-16.net: How would you improve the F-16?
General Yeager: You can't no. There have been weapons systems designed for it. But the problem is the F-16 is so small you can't carry internally all these systems needed to survive down low. So then you have to hang them on the outside, that slows the aeroplane up, and then it can't survive.
F-16.net: Do you still stop by at Edwards AFB?
General Yeager: I spent 60 years in Air Force cockpits. Now I still get to fly P-51s - I still fly in the Heritage flights and fly with the P-51s and T-33.
F-16.net: Tell me about the General Yeager Foundation?
General Yeager: Victoria [Yeager] formed it quite some time ago. We use it to support educational scholarships and the Young Eagles programs.
I was chairman of the Young Eagles program and we donated a lot of money to that. When I started as chairman (in 1996) our goal was to have a million kids fly an aeroplane before December 17th, 2003 which was 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers first flight. I flew the millionth one on December 17th, 2003. That was one of the highlights of our program.
F-16.net: Any new major goals planned?
General Yeager: That wasn't a lofty goal, you laid down a goal and go ahead and accomplish it. Nothing major planned, I don't plan ahead I just live day-to-day.
F-16.net: What would you tell young people wanting to join the military?
General Yeager: Hey, those who do it on their own are the best. I wouldn't tell them a damn thing. (laughs)
- General Chuck Yeager was interviewed over the phone by Jon Somerville on February 2nd, 2005 -