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U-2 Ops from South Korea

#5
I'd hate to put the ejection system and suit to the test at its operating altitude. Not a pleasant bodily existence/experience should something go awry.
 
#10
I hope the pilots have fathered children before they go U2. They'll suffer a proper dose of cosmic radiation.
A good friend of mine is a very experienced U-2 pilot and Sqn cdr. There's no appreciable health issues associated with the jet despite a recent study indicating greater risk of brain lesions. These are a minor risk for all aircrew but U-2 pilots fly at a higher cabin altitude to 'normal jets. As a result, the standard U-2 cabin altitude was lowered.

My mate incidentally managed to have plenty of fully serviceable kids during his flying career.

Regards,
MM
 
#13
They'll suffer a proper dose of cosmic radiation.
Isn't exposure prevention why the pilot's to all intents and purposes wearing a space suit (along with allowing ejection in the highly-rarefied atmosphere of operating altitude), with it's nice gold-inlaid visor n'all...?
 
#14
Isn't exposure prevention why the pilot's to all intents and purposes wearing a space suit (along with allowing ejection in the highly-rarefied atmosphere of operating altitude), with it's nice gold-inlaid visor n'all...?

I think the original shuttle suits were adapted U2 suits iirc.
 
#15
Gary Powers was flying from Pakistan to Norway

Also it will take time to climb to operational altitude
If I recall correctly when taking off they used to do steep climbing in loops over the base they took off from for security reasons, this been back when they never existed.
 
#17
Gary Powers was flying from Pakistan to Norway

Also it will take time to climb to operational altitude
The U-2 of 1960 was essentially an entirely different aeroplane flying an entirely different task taking in a series of widely spaced targets. This required the penetration of hostile airspace because the U-2's sensors of the time were solely optical and required overflight (with exploitation conducted post flight). In doing so, there was obviously no need for DIPCLEARS!

Today, the U-2 is optimised for stand-off collection using SAR/GMTI, SIGINT and oblique imagery so will not penetrate DPRK airspace for obvious reasons. Processing Exploitation and Dissemination (PED) of product is done in real time via the global USAF Distributed Common Ground Stn (DCGS) SATCOM architecture. Ultimately, you still have to collect from a set location and the U-2 climbs very fast indeed; by the time the systems are checked out by the DCGS crews, the aeroplane will be at operating altitude.

You're just burning gas pointlessly and reducing time on task by a massive amount. Moreover, DIPCLEAR requirements from most of your suggested locations would compromise OPSEC, result in significant detours necessitating further waste of gas and reduction in collection, and reduce operational flexibility.

So why would you want to fly from such distances?

Incidentally, to avoid @NorthfleetNinja having an aneurism, all of the above is open source!

Regards,
MM
 
#20
I'm genuinely surprised the U2 is still in use, why not the SR-71 or satelite imagery? Surely satellite stuff is top notch by now?
The SR-71 went due to cost and satellites are incredibly predicable, can't orbit over a location for hours on end and laws of physics mean they're no good for certain collection tasks. Equally, satellites have their strengths but air and space collection is complimentary.

Regards,
MM
 

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