sabim From Switzerland, joined Sep 2006, 4 posts, RR: 0 Posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 6081 times:
Looking for pictures of Soviet airports from the 50s/60s I found a few pics of the Moscow airports shot from U-2 reconnaissance planes. As I assume that more than 50 years after they have been taken more of them must be declassified, I wondered if they were somewhere online available. Any idea?
GST From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2008, 942 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4876 times:
Quoting sabim (Reply 6):
Anyway, this plane is with no doubt a remarkable chapter of both aviation and cold war history. I read it was also very hard to fly and even harder to land, even on dryland.
Not hard to fly technically, but definitely physically. They wanted light controls at altitude, resulting in extremely heavy controls lower down. Its flying characteristics though were not unlike a glider, and any old idiot can fly them, myself being case in point. It was hard to maintain flight at operational height as they were cruising in a very narrow band of airspeed (a couple of knots two low and you stall, and a couple to high and you start to buffet), dubbed "coffin corner". This band of airspeed only got smaller as upgrades to the autopilot improved so the plane could go a tad higher still.
The landing difficulty is principally due to poor visibility, hence the fast car to talk the pilot down in the flare (and spoilers that could be more effective). The U2 suffered from a tendency to ground loop, a trait also shared with sailplanes, but in this case the limited visibility compounded the issue. I recommend this NSFW video on U2 landings for those that haven't seen it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eamnT...laynext_from=TL&videos=VMqec4lYNGk
contrail25 From United States of America, joined Aug 2009, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3927 times:
I have a former U-2 driver that flys with me, says they wash out the majority of applicants to the program due to the difficulty in landing the jet. It is the hardest a/c to land in the USAF inventory.
What impresses me the most is the climb performance, if you've ever seen it, you know what I'm talking about!
HaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2168 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3848 times:
Quoting spudh (Reply 9): Hard to believe a military plane regularily lands like that! Does it go wrong much?
Reading the comments of the person who posted the video on YouTube those aren't videos of regular in-line service pilots landing, but rather of potential candidates for the U-2 program doing their initial trials in the plane... all of which are videotaped, and put together for our enjoyment lol.