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U-2 Carrier Ops  
User currently offlineBushpilot From South Africa, joined Jul 2007, 0 posts, RR: 1
Posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 4940 times:

I had heard rumors awhile back about a U-2 operating off the deck of an American carrier in the early days of that program. I thought I would share this link with additional info on it.
http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq77-1.htm
The first carrier take off was done off of San Diego on the USS Kitty Hawk with a full load of fuel and managed without the help of a catapult. The first landing didnt go that well with it hitting the wingtip. Still a great tribute to Kelly Johnson and the folks at Skunk works.

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBHMBAGLOCK From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2698 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4886 times:

I've seen video of this, it was quite interesting.

Chuck Sewell who was the chief test pilot for Grumman at the time showed this along with a few other goodies at an AIAA(maybe AHS) meeting at Boeing Philadelphia summer of '86:

1. C-130 landing and take-off from carrier. Something not natural about this.
2. Test landings(on carrier) of a F-14 modified to allow the wings to sweep independantly. Story was that there were some maintenance problems in the swing mechanism early on and very rarely one wing would get stuck and could not be extended to the high lift/slow landing configuration. The Navy lost a few aircraft and pilots and needed to find a way to safely land this configuration. Definitely some ballsy flying.
3. The take-off from the carrier deck for the U-2 was nearly vertical and the landing roll was quite short as well. No arresting gear or catapult used or needed.
4. Some good video from the X-29 program as well. He was the test pilot for its first flight.

Sadly, he was killed in a TBM crash about 3-4 weeks later after losing power due to a fuel problem of some sort.



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User currently offlineLoran From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 541 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4859 times:

Interetsing topic, here is some more information, found this by coincidence last month:

http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/history/q0050.shtml

Regards,
Loran



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User currently offlineCancidas From Poland, joined Jul 2003, 4112 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4545 times:

i knew about the C-130 but not about the U-2... pretty cool.


"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
User currently offlineYeahitsK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4532 times:

Aren't there small wheels towards the wingtips of the U-2 (keeps the wings off the the ground during takeoff roll)that fall off after becoming airborne? Were these made retractable or did they fall into the sea? Also, did they modify the airframes of the C-130 and U-2 to fold the wings for storage on a carrier?

User currently offlineBHMBAGLOCK From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2698 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4505 times:

Quoting YeahitsK (Reply 4):
Aren't there small wheels towards the wingtips of the U-2 (keeps the wings off the the ground during takeoff roll)that fall off after becoming airborne? Were these made retractable or did they fall into the sea? Also, did they modify the airframes of the C-130 and U-2 to fold the wings for storage on a carrier?

The solution was amazingly low tech. On landing, two deck crewmen simply grabbed the wing tips until the wheels could be installed.

For takeoff the wheels were removed and the carrier put into the wind at high speed. Not a whole lot more needed for takeoff in what is basically a jet powered glider. Again two crewmen held the wingtips and stayed with them for just a few steps as the a/c started its takeoff roll.

I don't think any work was done on folding/stowing mechanisms for either of these a/c. It might have been feasible for the U2 but the Herc is just too big for this to be practical.



Where are all of my respected members going?
User currently offlineYeahitsK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 4454 times:

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 5):
On landing, two deck crewmen simply grabbed the wing tips until the wheels could be installed



Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 5):
Again two crewmen held the wingtips and stayed with them for just a few steps as the a/c started its takeoff roll

I can say with confidence that I wouldn't want that job, sounds incredibly dangerous. Not that any job on a flightdeck is posh.


User currently offlineBHMBAGLOCK From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2698 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4424 times:

Quoting YeahitsK (Reply 6):
I can say with confidence that I wouldn't want that job, sounds incredibly dangerous. Not that any job on a flightdeck is posh.

It actually looked pretty tame for a carrier deck. Didn't look much more threatening than running along with a kid on a bike until the speed builds up enough for stability.



Where are all of my respected members going?
User currently offlineKevinl1011 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2964 posts, RR: 47
Reply 8, posted (8 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 4319 times:

Speaking of Carrier Op's. This was copied from another thread.

http://www.masdf.com/news/pic/b52cv.jpg

Ok...sorry about being redundant, but It's just too funny!



474218, Carl, You will be missed.
User currently offlineDispatchguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1249 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 3897 times:

The National Security Archive at Georgetown University has some FOIA-released declassified documents about U-2 ops off of a carrier.

http://www.gwu.edu/%7Ensarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB184/FR18.pdf

Is a declassified CIA analysis of U2 ops off of a carrier.

Called Operation "Whale Tale", it did actually occur, as discussed in this declassified Top Secret CIA after actions report:

http://www.gwu.edu/%7Ensarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB184/FR24.pdf



Nobody screws you better than an airline job!
User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2116 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 3862 times:

Good links Dispatchguy, thanks  Smile


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