Today we will share how a pilot Controlled the crash landing of a U2 spy plane using 140-Mph Chase Cars
The U-2 spy plane is an engineering marvel, but it can’t land on its own.
In the below video see what the complicated process pilots have to go through to bring the plane down safely.
With only two wheels, the aircraft is incredibly unsteady when it touches down, and pilots have their hands full during the entire landing process.
So to help the pilot Airforce uses another backup pilot to trail the plane in a car while offering control inputs.
The ground pilot can reach speeds around 140 mph while attempting to keep up with the aircraft.
And without his help, the plane could ground loop or worse.
Steps of landing a U-2 spy plane
- Slow down, fly down to the deck at around 140 mph
- Have chase cars drive on the runway, hauling ass behind you and offering radio advice
- Landplane in polite, controlled crash
- Don’t screw up.
US Lockheed U-2 Spy plane needs a powerful car traveling at 140 mph (225 km/h) to help the U2 spy plane land on the runway and why it can crash without this precious help.
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Because of the tender specifications which required a very light plane, the engineer designed only 2 very primitive landing gear which makes the U2 unstable during the takeoff and the landing.
Why doesn’t the U-2 spy plane have Normal landing gear?
The same characteristics that make it an ideal spy plane also make its takeoffs difficult.
The aircraft has a huge turning radius on the ground, a function of its wide wingspan and the location of its landing gear.
Small landing gear wheels called “pogos” that keep the plane’s sagging, fuel-laden wings from dragging on the ground fall away during takeoff, making any abort during the process inherently dangerous.
To make the takeoff and landing process safer, the U.S. Air Force began using muscle cars driven by other U-2 pilots to spot the pilot in the plane. The U-2, designed to operate at high altitudes, accelerates quickly at sea level, making it difficult for ordinary cars to follow. The use of muscle cars like the Pontiac GTO, driven by “mobile pilots” who watch for hazards and call out aircraft speed and other useful information, has virtually eliminated U-2 accidents on the ground.
Why is a Tesla car used to land a U-2 spy plane?
The Tesla Model S has the quickest acceleration around, capable of going 0 to 60 in 2.27 seconds, with a top speed of 155 miles an hour. The U-2’s takeoff speed is roughly 115 miles an hour, and the Tesla keeps up with the plane right up to takeoff.