posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 10:02 AM
An interview featuring Secretary of the Air Force, Michael Wynne aired on CSPAN, October15th, 2006. In that interview Wynne said that the program to
enable the Global Hawk to replace the U-2 Dragonlady has been delayed by Congress.
Among the main concerns facing the USAF concerning the U-2 is persistence and loiter time over the area of interest. The extreme conditions of flying
at 70-90,000 feet limits how long a pilot can fly the aircraft.
"One of the things that we find is... the airplane can outlast the pilot." said Wynne, he then noted that the USAF is looking into ways of extending
the flight time of the U-2, and one option being considered is to "automate the U-2", or make it an unmanned vehicle.
More here: USAF Considers U-2 UAV