Questions tagged [lockheed-u2]

The tag has no usage guidance.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
21 votes
5 answers

What U-2 design challenges are still challenging?

The Lockheed U-2 was first introduced in the mid-1950s, close to the dawn of the jet age. It seems reasonable to think that the technology required to design and build it then was rudimentary by ...
  • 4,005
14 votes
3 answers

Why would the U2 descend more quickly with its engine on than off?

I was talking to someone who got to fly in the U2. He mentioned that the pilot said that a descent from 70k' would take two hours with the engine working, or three hours without. I have every reason ...
  • 4,005
7 votes
2 answers

Is the U2's 74,000 ft the highest a turbofan plane ever has gone?

What is the altitude record for a turbofan? The (usually) turbofan-powered U2 has gone to 74,000 ft (22.6 km) MSL, but did any turbofan plane surpass that, in a zoom climb for instance and with ...
10 votes
1 answer

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-...
  • 1,302
8 votes
2 answers

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.
  • 201
17 votes
4 answers

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 ...
  • 431
15 votes
3 answers

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 ...
  • 431
29 votes
2 answers

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?
  • 2,386
22 votes
1 answer

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?
  • 336
12 votes
3 answers

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 ...
  • 1,059
5 votes
2 answers

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: ...
  • 1,689
9 votes
2 answers

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 ...
  • 17.4k
31 votes
3 answers

Why does the speed tape on the Lockheed U-2 go the opposite way?

I found this clip online that shows the speed tape on the Lockheed U-2 going what I perceive is the opposite direction to the 'normal' convention. On most aircraft, the higher values are above and so ...