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Old 09-27-2008, 07:45 PM   #1
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Default U-2 Carrier landings

Never cease to be amazed at the stuff I never heard of-

Creative Fission - U2 Carrier Landing
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:06 PM   #2
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C-130 Hercules Lands on U.S.S. Forrestal
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:17 PM   #3
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From Jungle's link:

"21 unarrested full-stop landings, and 21 unassisted takeoffs at gross weights of 85,000 pounds up to 121,000 pounds. At 85,000 pounds, the KC-130F came to a complete stop within 267 feet, about twice the aircraft's wing span"

There on the side of the fuselage, a big sign had been painted on that said, "LOOK MA, NO HOOK."


That's pretty amazing.
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Old 09-28-2008, 07:38 AM   #4
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Considering this how they normally land a U2, that's pretty impressive.

YouTube - U2-S Landing
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Old 09-28-2008, 07:54 AM   #5
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Considering this how they normally land a U2, that's pretty impressive.

YouTube - U2-S Landing
Very neat, but two questions:
1 Why do they chase it when it's landing?
2 Is the guy on the radio calling out "Two, two, one, two" the pilot giving his altitude?
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:46 AM   #6
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When I flew C-130's back in the late 60's, one of our flight mechanics was aboard for the carrier landings. Said the biggest modification was removing the wheel well doors. Understand Boeing was upset and showed they could land a B-727 on a field carrier. Navy finally got smart and realized that for either a/c to land and takeoff, they would have to clear the flight deck, thereby becoming quite vulnerable.
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:07 AM   #7
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Very neat, but two questions:
1 Why do they chase it when it's landing?
2 Is the guy on the radio calling out "Two, two, one, two" the pilot giving his altitude?
1) on takeoff, attached to the wingtip are landing gear that drop at lift-off. on landing the U-2 is chased by a very fast vehicle (in Vietnam and Thailand it was an El Camino w/ a 396cu/in eng) and two fleet footed airmen who jump out, catch the wing before it drops and re-install the gear. note too the turned-down wingtips are frangible.

2) the U-2 w/ its bicycle gear is reportedly not easy to land and w/ the vis and in the space suit, it is difficult to estimate height in those last few feet so another U-2 driver in the fast car is calling height above touchdown.

In Thailand and out of Bien Hoa they would sweep the runway for debris prior to launch and on departure the U-2 would circle as it climbed to mission alt. you would watch this tiny black plane turn into just a black dot, see a few corkscrew contrails and then nothing. a few hours later it would come quietly drifting back in. it would have orbited some target areas giving wx reports and target info..

correction... they move the aux gear inboard ...

Last edited by III Corps; 09-28-2008 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 09-28-2008, 02:59 PM   #8
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Default U-2 Landings and Chase

I got to ride in the chase vehicle in Saudi in 1996. This was at Taif; the chase car was a Ford Mustang.

The vehicle doesn't actually have to be that fast: the U-2 is, after all, a glider with a big jet engine in it. I think approach speeds are about 70-80 kts; we didn't go over 75 on the day I rode shotgun. We held on the approach end taxiway until the U-2 was about 1000 ft short of the threshold, then he floored it and we chased about 100 ft in trail.

The reason it is tough to land (as explained by the chase driver; a U-2 IP): the nose is long and you can't see over it; you're in a pressure suit/helmet and have limited peripheral vision, but mostly, is that the airplane is landed in a full-stall; ideally from 1 ft of altitude or less, with both bicycle trucks level with each other. Non-level, you get a progressive porpoise that can destroy the airplane, and higher than 1-2 ft, the impact is too great.

On rollout, the pilot kept the wings level down to a ridiculously low speed (I would estimate 20 kts); then the wing dropped, and it slid a short distance on the frangible droop that IIICorps pointed out.

The ground troops installed the pogos (easily lifting the wing by hand), and then the pilot taxied in.

It was interesting to see frost on the wings where there was still fuel. This was Feb in Saudi, and about 80 degrees. The fuel, cold-soaked from flight in the bozo-sphere, causes water vapor to sublimate directly to frost in the descent.

I never realized this until I read a book about the Skunk Works and their airplanes, but most of the fuselage of the U-2 is borrowed from the F-104. (Cockpit and aft to the wing trailing edge).
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Old 09-28-2008, 05:21 PM   #9
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It was interesting to see frost on the wings where there was still fuel. This was Feb in Saudi, and about 80 degrees. The fuel, cold-soaked from flight in the bozo-sphere, causes water vapor to sublimate directly to frost in the descent.
We ran into that icing problem sometimes in the MD-80 going from the cold NE to Miami. You would land and the cold fuel would accrete ice in the warm MIA air. Try explaining that you have to de-ice in MIA...
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Old 09-28-2008, 08:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
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catch the wing before it drops and re-install the gear.
they just pull the high wing down after the a/c stops moving

Quote:
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note too the turned-down wingtips are frangible.
not frangible, titanium skids

Quote:
Originally Posted by III Corps View Post
2) the U-2 w/ its bicycle gear is reportedly not easy to land and w/ the vis and in the space suit, it is difficult to estimate height in those last few feet so another U-2 driver in the fast car is calling height above touchdown.
height of main landing gear above the ground, an important little bit of info
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