The U-2’s 63ft-long (19m) thin fuselage, two high-aspect, un-swept glider-like wings, and powerful engine are designed to rocket the plane higher than 70,000ft (21km) – and, crucially, keep it there.
How high can a u2 spy plane fly?
The Air Force commissioned it from the Lockheed Corporation in the 1950s as a reconnaissance aircraft that could fly above 70,000 feet—an altitude then presumed to be beyond the reach of Soviet surface-to-air missiles.
Can planes fly 70000 feet?
Despite the changes being made to the U-2 program to protect its pilots, Henry points out that pilots are still flying very long missions at 70,000 feet.
Why does u2 fly so high?
The U-2 has demonstrated that the sweet spot for an ISR platform is 70,000 feet, and today’s U-2 engine, an F118 GE 101, gets the U-2 there. This—combined with long, slender glider-like wings—enables the aircraft to fly at such high altitudes.
How high do commercial planes fly?
Most commercial aircraft are approved to fly at a maximum of around 42,000 feet.
What is the hardest aircraft to fly?
The 10 Most Difficult to Fly Aircraft
- Called by some the most dangerous aircraft ever tested, the 1954 ROLLS-ROYCE FLYING BEDSTEAD had no aerodynamic stability or lifting surfaces of any sort. …
- The 1958 TUPOLEV TU-22 BLINDER was the Soviet Union’s first supersonic bomber and one of the worst-handling airplanes the Tupolev design bureau ever released.
Why do planes do not fly over the Pacific?
The primary reason airplanes don’t fly over the Pacific Ocean is because curved routes are shorter than straight routes. Flat maps are somewhat confusing because the Earth itself isn’t flat. Rather, it’s spherical. As a result, straight routes don’t offer the shortest distance between two locations.
What happens if an airplane flies too high?
When the plane gets too high, there is insufficient oxygen to fuel the engines. “The air is less dense at altitude, so the engine can suck in less and less air per second as it goes higher and at some point the engine can no longer develop sufficient power to climb.” …
What is the highest altitude a plane can fly?
Question: What is the highest altitude an airplane can fly? Answer: The highest commercial airliner altitude was 60,000 feet by Concorde. The highest military air-breathing engine airplane was the SR-71 — about 90,000 feet. The highest airliner flying today reaches 45,000 feet.
Can planes fly at 50000 feet?
It was set in an SR-71 Blackbird in 1976. The speed record is also held by an SR-71, at 2,193 mph. This is not as high or as fast as the airplane can fly, however, it’s absolute speed and altitude limits are classified. Most US military aircraft can exceed 50,000 feet, if they really really try.
Are u2 spy planes still in use?
But the 65-year-old Lockheed U-2 is still at the top of its game, flying missions in an environment no other aircraft can operate in. … At 70,000ft and above, the “Dragon Lady” still has the stratosphere largely to itself, just as it did 65 years ago on its first flight.
How far can a pilot see?
350 to 400 miles from nearly 120,000 (22.5 Miles) feet up. At that altitude the horizon was in the hundreds of miles depending on the atmospheric conditions. Of course if the moon or nearby planets are visible out of his aircraft then he is pearing hundreds of thousands of miles to several dozen million miles.
How fast is a u2 spy plane?
Do planes fly over Mt Everest?
Airplanes often avoid air paths that take them over Mt Everest or the Pacific Ocean. … This is because “the Himalayas have mountains higher than 20,000 feet, including Mt Everest standing at 29,035 feet. However, most commercial airplanes can fly at 30,000 feet.”
How cold is it at 35000 feet?
How cold is it up there? The higher you get, the colder it gets, up until 40,000 feet. If the temperature at ground level was 20C, at 40,000 feet it would be -57C. At 35,000 feet the air temperature is about -54C.
Why do aircraft fly at 35000 feet?
The “sweet spot” of flying is regarded as between 35,000 and 42,000 feet – too high and the oxygen becomes too sparse to fuel the engines, too low and the air resistance is greater. This optimum height is linked to the usual weight of a commercial jet – that is, heavier planes fly lower, and lighter higher.