U-2 & TR-1 Spy Planes: "Dragon Lady" pt1-2 US Air Force Reconnaissance Pilot Recruiting Film

more at http://scitech.quickfound.net/aviation_news_and_search.html "An US Air Force recruitment film for U-2 and TR-1 reconnaissance jet pilots." Public domain film slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied. The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and equalization. Split with MKVmerge GUI (part of MKVToolNix), the same software can recombine the downloaded parts (in mp4 format): http://www.bunkus.org/videotools/mkvtoolnix/doc/mkvmerge-gui.html part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKMoAFEKarw http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_U-2 The Lockheed U-2, nicknamed "Dragon Lady", is a single-engine, very high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) and previously flown by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). It provides day and night, very high-altitude (70,000 feet / 21,000 meters), all-weather intelligence gathering. The aircraft is also used for electronic sensor research and development, satellite calibration, and satellite data validation. Development In the early 1950s, with Cold War tensions on the rise, the U.S. military desired better strategic reconnaissance to help determine Soviet capabilities and intentions. The existing reconnaissance aircraft, primarily bombers converted for reconnaissance duty, were vulnerable to anti-aircraft artillery, missiles, and fighters. It was thought an aircraft that could fly at 70,000 feet (21,000 m) would be beyond the reach of Soviet fighters, missiles, and even radar. This would allow overflights (knowingly violating Soviet airspace) to take aerial photographs. Under the code name "Bald Eagle", the Air Force gave contracts to Bell Aircraft, Martin Aircraft, and Fairchild Engine and Airplane to develop proposals for the new reconnaissance aircraft. Officials at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation heard about the project and asked aeronautical engineer Clarence "Kelly" Johnson to come up with a design. Johnson was a brilliant designer, responsible for the P-38, and the P-80. He was also known for completing projects ahead of schedule, working in a separate division of the company jokingly called the Skunk Works. Johnson's design, called the CL-282, married long glider-like wings to the fuselage of another of his designs, the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter. To save weight, his initial design did not have conventional landing gear, taking off from a dolly and landing on skids. The design was rejected by the Air Force, but caught the attention of several civilians on the review panel, notably Edwin Land, the father of instant photography. Land proposed to CIA director Allen Dulles that his agency should fund and operate this aircraft. After a meeting with President Eisenhower, Lockheed received a $22.5 million contract for the first 20 aircraft. It was renamed the U-2, with the "U" referring to the deliberately vague designation "utility". The CIA assigned the cryptonym "AQUATONE" to the project, with the Air Force using the name "OILSTONE" for their support to the CIA. The first flight occurred at the Groom Lake test site (Area 51) on August 1, 1955, during what was only intended to be a high-speed taxi run. The sailplane-like wings were so efficient that the aircraft jumped into the air at 70 knots (81 mph; 130 km/h)... The unique design that gives the U-2 its remarkable performance also makes it a difficult aircraft to fly. It was designed and manufactured for minimum airframe weight, which results in an aircraft with little margin for error. Most aircraft were single-seat versions, with only five two-seat trainer versions known to exist. Early U-2 variants were powered by Pratt & Whitney J57 turbojet engines. The U-2C and TR-1A variants used the more powerful Pratt & Whitney J75 turbojet. The U-2S and TU-2S variants incorporated the even more powerful General Electric F118 turbofan engine...
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