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(YouTube)   Most amazing flight in a U2 spyplane you'll see today   (youtube.com) divider line 80
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10191 clicks; posted to Video » on 17 Jan 2010 at 5:01 AM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-01-17 12:43:58 AM
Very cool Mr. Subby

I did not know that the wing wheels just fall to the side on takeoff.
 
2010-01-17 12:46:54 AM
They still haven't found what they're looking for?
 
2010-01-17 12:55:31 AM
AlwaysRightBoy: Very cool Mr. Subby

I did not know that the wing wheels just fall to the side on takeoff.


yep, and it is cool watching it land, it does not land very clean.

/not subby
 
2010-01-17 01:17:35 AM
Watching U-2s take off on afterburner in the morning looked like freedom.

/Watched them often out of Osan AB some time ago.
 
2010-01-17 01:38:52 AM
Very nice. Well articulated by Mr. May.
 
2010-01-17 02:00:25 AM
+1
 
2010-01-17 02:35:49 AM
I knew it would be Captain Slow.

And if you're wondering, no, he usually doesn't go squishy and seem on the verge of tears. He's usually pretty calm and unmoved, which gives you a sense of how much it affected him to be up there.
 
2010-01-17 02:49:08 AM
This plane: So awkward... they never saw it coming.

/skunk works
 
2010-01-17 04:53:24 AM
Awesome find. Captain Slow seems like the perfect person for this sort of documentary, too. I'm jealous he got to go up.

Can't help but wonder about the Major's eyeglasses - I thought pilots required 20/20 vision, or is that just fighter jets?
 
2010-01-17 05:27:36 AM
Man, that was damn cool!
 
2010-01-17 05:31:04 AM
That takeoff made my palms sweat...

homeoftheblues: yep, and it is cool watching it land, it does not land very clean.

Does it just balance on those little center wheels as it slows to a stop? it looks like it would tip over.
 
2010-01-17 05:41:44 AM
memebot_of_doom: That takeoff made my palms sweat...

homeoftheblues: yep, and it is cool watching it land, it does not land very clean.

Does it just balance on those little center wheels as it slows to a stop? it looks like it would tip over.


Most difficult plane in the world to land. The bicycle type landing gear provide zero room for error. here (new window)
 
2010-01-17 05:51:52 AM
homeoftheblues: memebot_of_doom: That takeoff made my palms sweat...

homeoftheblues: yep, and it is cool watching it land, it does not land very clean.

Does it just balance on those little center wheels as it slows to a stop? it looks like it would tip over.

Most difficult plane in the world to land. The bicycle type landing gear provide zero room for error. here (new window)


I understand why the plane is the way it is, but you have to wonder. How in the hell do you talk a whole bunch of people into this design? "Bicycle wheels, yeah. No, the wings just sort of hang there. Well, what we can do is get a guy in a car to chase the plane as it lands so he can tell the pilot what's going on. We can just do that, right?"
 
2010-01-17 05:57:54 AM
feanturi: homeoftheblues: memebot_of_doom: That takeoff made my palms sweat...

homeoftheblues: yep, and it is cool watching it land, it does not land very clean.

Does it just balance on those little center wheels as it slows to a stop? it looks like it would tip over.

Most difficult plane in the world to land. The bicycle type landing gear provide zero room for error. here (new window)

I understand why the plane is the way it is, but you have to wonder. How in the hell do you talk a whole bunch of people into this design? "Bicycle wheels, yeah. No, the wings just sort of hang there. Well, what we can do is get a guy in a car to chase the plane as it lands so he can tell the pilot what's going on. We can just do that, right?"


Yeah, but it has to fly at the edge of space. Hence the reason for its anorexic body, and huge wing span.
 
2010-01-17 06:01:26 AM
The most amazing thing to me is the aircraft carrier idea they had for the plane:

Link (new window)
 
2010-01-17 06:03:02 AM
ussamerica-museumfoundation.org
 
2010-01-17 06:23:22 AM
Bono's got a big enough ego, he doesn't need stealth technology. Then again he'd never use it, he always needs to be seen.
 
2010-01-17 06:28:01 AM
Very cool, thanks Subby!
 
2010-01-17 06:41:44 AM
And thanks to this man, Joe Kittenger, (new window) we know that the pilot could survive ejecting.
 
2010-01-17 06:51:51 AM
So today's pilots blather on about how hard it is to land the things on two miles of runway yet the CIA were landing them on carriers back in 1964.
 
2010-01-17 07:34:49 AM
What a magnificent machine. To think that this, the B-52, and the SR-71 were products of the 50s...guess they had some motivation.
 
2010-01-17 07:48:32 AM
This thing reminds me of the sr-71 and how it would leak fuel on the runway because the plane had to have such looses tolerances in the body for thermal expansion.

how the hell did things like this get greenlit back then?
 
2010-01-17 08:07:46 AM
feanturi: I understand why the plane is the way it is, but you have to wonder. How in the hell do you talk a whole bunch of people into this design? "Bicycle wheels, yeah. No, the wings just sort of hang there. Well, what we can do is get a guy in a car to chase the plane as it lands so he can tell the pilot what's going on. We can just do that, right?"

I believe the major selling point was, "There's nothing the Soviets can possibly do to take this thing out even if they see it." Which is why 1960 came as such as surprise.

esteban9: What a magnificent machine. To think that this, the B-52, and the SR-71 were products of the 50s...guess they had some motivation.

The thing that gets me is that the U-2 and the B-52 are still in active US military use. The B-52 is slated to stay in service until 2040 (according to Wikipedia).
 
2010-01-17 08:39:34 AM
The most amazing U2 flight was the night training flight the Taiwanese pilot landed one engine flamed out over the clouds at 70,000 feet over the rockies. Air start attempt times four unsuccessful. Did glide 200 miles and landed at Cortez, NM dead stick. I believe it was his sixth flight in the bird. No runway mobile control nada. Folks did not know the plane existed. Pre-Gary Francis Powers.

Believe his name was Hua.
 
2010-01-17 09:12:33 AM
Is this a UK website? Or do Americans make no good tv shows of their own? It's always BBC shows on here!
 
2010-01-17 10:06:56 AM
Gig103: Can't help but wonder about the Major's eyeglasses - I thought pilots required 20/20 vision, or is that just fighter jets?

He looks a bit older than the typical military pilot, and I think there are probably good reasons for this.

Number 1 reason has to be that a fickle aircraft like a U2 needs experienced pilots. As these experienced pilots get older, they get to need reading glasses like anyone else who ages. Likely, his superiors know he's a great pilot with skills in huge demand, so the upper command levels have likely given him a few waivers to allow him to continue in service.

This is also likely the result of the Air Force not knowing when the U2 aircraft fleet will be scrapped out of future budgets, so they likely don't want to put young pilots into the training pipeline for an aircraft that won't be flying much longer.
 
2010-01-17 10:10:53 AM
When I saw that it was eleven minutes, I almost closed the window.

But that was worth every second.
 
2010-01-17 10:41:49 AM
When flying this plane you are constantly on the edge of disaster. If you go to fast, you rip the long wings off. If you go to slow, the air is so thin you don't get enough lift and you stall and plummet. There is only a safe speed range of about five KPH that you can fly in and not cause one of these events. In other words, you have to keep your speed within a couple of KPH of the safe speed at all times or you crash. It's amazing anyone can fly them.

Was it just me or did you expect to see Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond goofing around and wrecking something on the plane?
 
2010-01-17 11:24:21 AM
Deja vu
 
2010-01-17 11:37:35 AM
I think that all prominent world leaders should ride in that thing once. Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Ill, all of them. Let them see the Earth from that perspective to get an idea, just for a little bit at least, of their true place in the world and how selfish and shortsighted their actions here really are.
 
2010-01-17 11:41:11 AM
I, too, hesitated at the 11 minute length. Glad I watched.
 
2010-01-17 12:18:31 PM
For a plane almost 60 years old and expected to do what it does, it has held up incredibly well.
 
2010-01-17 12:20:27 PM
tacos813: This thing reminds me of the sr-71 and how it would leak fuel on the runway because the plane had to have such looses tolerances in the body for thermal expansion.

how the hell did things like this get greenlit back then?


300reviews.files.wordpress.com

/hot like a mushroom cloud
 
2010-01-17 12:34:20 PM
Anyone else see Bozo The Clown in that mushroom cloud?
 
2010-01-17 12:50:09 PM
Sobrrr

Anyone else see Bozo The Clown in that mushroom cloud?

The "clown head" is a feature of plutonium implosion bombs. The face has been seen in every atmospheric test, and scientists can't explain why.

It was a secret until recently.
 
2010-01-17 01:12:17 PM
The little support wheels on the wingtips are called "pogos", and they fall away in take-off. The wing tips have skids so that when the plane runway speed drops to zero, it rests on one wing tip, like gliders do. Plane is roughly based around a Lockheed F-104 lightning with glider wings, and of course, many modifications. A good pilot, landing into the wind, is able to hold the wings level in the breeze at or near full-stop on the runway, until a guy in one of those chase cars can leap out and support the wingtip so it doesn't have to hit the ground.

I'm amazed they spent the money to do this bit, frankly. That mission cost a lot of money, even if he was flying training anyway.
 
2010-01-17 01:46:33 PM
studebaker hoch: Sobrrr

Anyone else see Bozo The Clown in that mushroom cloud?

The "clown head" is a feature of plutonium implosion bombs. The face has been seen in every atmospheric test, and scientists can't explain why.

It was a secret until recently.


sigh
 
2010-01-17 01:47:05 PM
esteban9: What a magnificent machine. To think that this, the B-52, and the SR-71 were products of the 50s...guess they had some motivation done some backwards engineering of the Roswell wreckage.
 
2010-01-17 02:01:22 PM
Thats an 827: The most amazing U2 flight was the night training flight the Taiwanese pilot landed one engine flamed out over the clouds at 70,000 feet over the rockies. Air start attempt times four unsuccessful. Did glide 200 miles and landed at Cortez, NM dead stick. I believe it was his sixth flight in the bird. No runway mobile control nada. Folks did not know the plane existed. Pre-Gary Francis Powers.

Believe his name was Hua.


I heard a story a while back about one of the skunkwork planes having trouble and contacting ground controllers for an emergency landing....except the ground controllers did not know about the plane.....pilot used whatever aviation jargon to let him know his altitude....angels 60 or angels plus 60 or something which would have put him at an altitude impossible for any known aircraft to be at......ground controllers figured they were being pranked or something.
 
2010-01-17 02:27:26 PM
Giltric: Thats an 827
I heard a story a while back about one of the skunkwork planes having trouble and contacting ground controllers for an emergency landing


We listened as the shaky voice of a lone Cessna pilot who asked Center for a read-out of his ground speed. Center replied: "November Charlie 175, I'm showing you at ninety knots on the ground." Now the thing to understand about Center controllers, was that whether they were talking to a rookie pilot in a Cessna, or to Air Force One, they always spoke in the exact same, calm, deep, professional tone that made one feel important. I referred to it as the "Houston Center voice." I have always felt that after years of seeing documentaries on this country's space program and listening to the calm and distinct voice of the Houston controllers, that all other controllers since then wanted to sound like that and that they basically did. And it didn't matter what sector of the country we would be flying in, it always seemed like the same guy was talking. Over the years that tone of voice had become somewhat of a comforting sound to pilots everywhere. Conversely, over the years, pilots always wanted to ensure that, when transmitting, they sounded like Chuck Yeager, or at least like John Wayne. Better to die than sound bad on the radios.

Just moments after the Cessna's inquiry, a Twin Beech piped up on frequency, in a rather superior tone, asking for his ground speed in Beech. "I have you at one hundred and twenty-five knots of ground speed." Boy, I thought, the Beechcraft really must think he is dazzling his Cessna brethren.

Then out of the blue, a navy F-18 pilot out of NAS Lemoore came up on frequency. You knew right away it was a Navy jock because he sounded very cool on the radios. "Center, Dusty 52 ground speed check." Before Center could reply, I'm thinking to myself, hey, Dusty 52 has a ground speed indicator in that million-dollar cockpit, so why is he asking Center for a read-out? Then I got it, ol' Dusty here is making sure that every bug smasher from Mount Whitney to the Mojave knows what true speed is. He's the fastest dude in the valley today, and he just wants everyone to know how much fun he is having in his new Hornet. And the reply, always with that same, calm, voice, with more distinct alliteration than emotion: "Dusty 52, Center, we have you at 620 on the ground." And I thought to myself, is this a ripe situation, or what? As my hand instinctively reached for the mic button, I had to remind myself that Walt was in control of the radios. Still, I thought, it must be done-in mere seconds we'll be out of the sector and the opportunity will be lost. That Hornet must die, and die now. I thought about all of our Sim training and how important it was that we developed well as a crew and knew that to jump in on the radios now would destroy the integrity of all that we had worked toward becoming. I was torn.

Somewhere, 13 miles above Arizona, there was a pilot screaming inside his space helmet. Then, I heard it-the click of the mic button from the back seat. That was the very moment that I knew Walter and I had become a crew. Very professionally, and with no emotion, Walter spoke: "Los Angeles Center, Aspen 20, can you give us a ground speed check?" There was no hesitation, and the replay came as if was an everyday request.

"Aspen 20, I show you at one thousand eight hundred and forty-two knots, across the ground."

Source. (new window)
 
2010-01-17 02:28:24 PM
www.confessionsofaninsomniac.com
 
2010-01-17 02:44:11 PM
Sobrrr: Anyone else see Bozo The Clown in that mushroom cloud?

It's from a Sony Playstation ad (new window).

Remarkable illustration.
 
2010-01-17 03:11:21 PM
He may have been on the verge of getting emotional, but I went for it. I got weepy it was so beautiful.

/sucker for a good string section
//why do all these IMAX space films have string sections?
 
2010-01-17 03:35:12 PM
I found these harder to land in a simulator.
upload.wikimedia.org.
 
2010-01-17 03:56:27 PM
Haydesign: Is this a UK website? Or do Americans make no good tv shows of their own? It's always BBC shows on here!

Have you looked at American television lately. Our biggest unscripted shows show 400 lbs women falling on treadmills and really bad singing.
 
2010-01-17 04:38:09 PM
When are they going to open that privilege up to the public? I'd love to go up in one of those planes. I trust them more than SpaceShipOne or whatever. The U2 has been reliable for 50 years!
 
2010-01-17 05:03:35 PM
AirForceVet: Watching U-2s take off on afterburner in the morning looked like freedom.

/Watched them often out of Osan AB some time ago.


Afterburner? U2? Don't think so.... (new window)
 
2010-01-17 05:04:30 PM
I saw James May during my layover in Heathrow the other day. Nearly approached him, but he walked off.farkin' love Captain Slow.
 
2010-01-17 05:07:44 PM
Haydesign: Is this a UK website? Or do Americans make no good tv shows of their own? It's always BBC shows on here!

We make plenty of bad ones that's for sure.
 
2010-01-17 05:56:41 PM
Damn, that was cool.
Never heard of May, but I like his style.
 
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