posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 01:13 PM
U-2 RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT
The U-2 provides continuous day or night, high-altitude, all-weather,
stand-off surveillance of an area in direct support of U.S. and
allied ground and air forces. It provides critical intelligence
to decision makers through all phases of conflict, including peacetime
indications and warnings, crises, low-intensity conflict and large-scale
The U-2 is a single-seat, single-engine, high-altitude, reconnaissance
aircraft. Long, wide, straight wings give the U-2 glider-like characteristics.
It can carry a variety of sensors and cameras, is an extremely reliable
reconnaissance aircraft, and enjoys a high mission completion rate.
Because of its high altitude mission, the pilot must wear a full
pressure suit. The U-2 is capable of collecting multi-sensor photo,
electro-optic, infrared and radar imagery, as well as performing
other types of reconnaissance functions. However, the aircraft can
be a difficult aircraft to fly due to its unusual landing characteristics.
Current models are derived from the original version that made
its first flight in August 1955. On Oct. 14, 1962, it was the U-2
that photographed the Soviet military installing offensive missiles
The U-2R, first flown in 1967, is significantly larger and more
capable than the original aircraft. A tactical reconnaissance version,
the TR-1A, first flew in August 1981 and was delivered to the Air
Force the next month. Designed for stand-off tactical reconnaissance
in Europe, the TR-1 was structurally identical to the U-2R. Operational
TR-1A's were used by the 17th Reconnaissance Wing, Royal Air Force
Station Alconbury, England, starting in February 1983. The last
U-2 and TR-1 aircraft were delivered to the Air Force in October
1989. In 1992 all TR-1s and U-2s were redesignated U-2R. Current
U-2R models are being reengined and will be designated as a U-2S/ST.
The Air Force accepted the first U-2S in October, 1994.
When requested, the U-2 also has provided photographs to the Federal
Emergency Management Agency in support of disaster relief.
U-2s are based at Beale Air Force Base, California and support
national and tactical requirements from four operational detachments
located throughout the world. U-2R/U-2S crew members are trained
at Beale using three U-2ST aircraft. The last R model trainer will
be converted to an S model trainer in 1999.
in trainer models)
No. of Engines:
& Whitney J75-P-13B engine; one General Electric F-118-101
lbs (7650 Kg)
feet (21212 M)
MPH (Mach 0.58)
information used with permission from the Department Of The Air