Retired Brig. Gen. Charles E. "Chuck" Yeager 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 (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Jason Edwards)
(Reuters) - Chuck Yeager, the retired U.S. Air Force pilot who broke the sound barrier, has sued Airbus SE, accusing the aerospace company of using his name and likeness without permission to promote a new high-speed helicopter.
In a complaint filed on Wednesday that refers to him as "one of the most, if not the most, famous pilots of all time," the 96-year-old Yeager objected to a June 2017 piece on Airbus' website about making the Airbus Racer a fast and cost-effective way to fly.
The piece quoted Guillaume Faury, now Airbus' chief executive officer and at the time Airbus Helicopters' CEO, as saying: "Seventy years ago, Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier," and Airbus was now "trying to break the cost barrier. It cannot be 'speed at any cost.'"
The Northrop F-20 Tigershark is arguably one of the most elegant fighter jets never built. Developed during the waning years of the Cold War, the sleek machine came equipped with the General Electric F404 turbofan engine that gave the F-20 an unbelievable acceleration and initial climb rate, positioning the fighting to “operate on short runways [and] outfight the Soviet Union’s best,” as Defense Media Network put it in 2014.
Air Force Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager has had an epic career. During World War II, he flew 64 missions and decimated 13 enemy planes. Though he was shot down during a mission in France, he evaded capture using the French Underground. When he returned home after the war, he was among several pilots to test the experimental Bell X-1 rocket plane, and became the first human to break the sound barrier in October of 1947.