What it's like to spend 125 days flying the U-2, according to the only active-duty pilot to ever do it

BillM

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There is also one at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. While we drove by this place numerous times working in AL last year, we just couldn't bring ourselves to pay the admission just to get in.

View attachment 275661

That all said, the guy that wrote this article calls Huntsville's plane an A-12 Oxcart. That I need to research to see what the differences are.

Rare Cold War Spy Plane Gets Some Love and Care in Alabama
I was a USAF aircraft mechanic the first part of my career, and really wanted to work on the SR-71. And one of my instructors had done so. High cool factor! Instead, I wound up working on Aardvarks. F-111D's. The A-12 was supposed to be a fighter/attack aircraft. Unfortunately, they fly faster than the bullets and missiles available at that time, so it wasn't practical. Mach 3 is over 3000fps. The M61 Vulcan 20mm rounds had just over 1000fps muzzle velocity. The GAU-8 system's 30mm cartridge is about the same, but a much heavier projectile, and wasn't developed until much later.

Bill
 

TerryMiller

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I don't actually remember that, was only 5 or 6, IIRC. But the photo lab I ran at Incirlik AS, Turkey, in the mid 1980's, was in the the hanger he launched out of on that flight. And I had lived in SoCal while he was doing radio and later television news and weather reporting until I left in 1973. He was killed a few years later when his helicopter crashed in August, 1977.

Francis Gary Power's U-2 flight originated from an airport near Peshawar, Pakistan. (West Pakistan at that time.) When I was stationed overseas near Peshawar from 1967-1968, that was still a topic of considerable discussion.

Wikipedia - 1960 U-2 Incident
 

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