Questions tagged [lockheed-u2]

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8
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the story behind U-2 flying from aircraft carriers?

This video from the CIA YouTube channel shows U-2 aircraft launching via catapult and trapping with a tailhook: The description only offers this: After stopping U-...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How slow could the U-2 fly at 50,000 ft?

How slow could the Lockheed U-2 fly at 50,000 ft? It was surely subsonic as its max speed is 500 mph.
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does the U-2 Dragon Lady not have swept wings?

Swept wings increase the critical mach number for aircraft with otherwise identical wings (Source 1). The U-2 Dragon Lady is limited in altitude by its critical mach number, as it needs more speed in ...
15
votes
3answers
5k views

What are the limiting factors for high altitude planes (e.g: U2 or SR71) preventing them from going higher?

I'm curious as to why planes like the U2 Dragon Lady and the SR71 Blackbird couldn't fly higher. What physical constraint set their operational ceiling? Pilots wore spacesuits, so that wasn't the ...
29
votes
2answers
5k views

What are the “spur” devices on this U2 pilot's boots?

From this video on YouTube: What are those devices and what is their purpose?
22
votes
1answer
11k views

Why does the U-2 use a chase car when landing?

Why does the Lockheed Martin U-2 spy plane need a car behind it during landing? Is that to help the pilot in case of excursion off the runway?
11
votes
3answers
6k views

Why was the U-2 so different from the SR-71?

Both were designed for the same goals: taking photographs at high altitude, avoiding radar. Both were designed by the same company with a few years apart. Yet one is a "jet glider", with large ...
5
votes
2answers
379 views

Why isn't the U-2 used for commercial purposes?

There are some companies that use decommissioned military aircraft for commercial high-altitude flights (for, say, tourists). Examples would be the MiG-31 and the MiG-29: ...
9
votes
2answers
885 views

Why didn't the U-2 spyplane have any chaff?

The U-2 spyplane was shot down over Russia in 1960 and over Cuba in 1962, both times by a radar-tracking missile. Why wasn't it equipped with any chaff to throw off the missile? Chaff is just a cloud ...