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Lockheed U-2


 

 

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Lockheed U-2R, TR-1

The famous, or depending on one's viewpoint, the infamous Lockheed U-2R silently established it's mark in aviation history on more than one occasion by gathering critical information, long before satellites gained their place in the intelligence gathering field. Designed in early 1954, in response for a "need" from both the CIA and USAF the U-2 was undertaken. The "U" designation of "Utility" hid the true purpose of this high altitude jet powered glider. It is believed that the first flight took place in the summer of 1955 or thereabouts. Introduced in 1956 the U-2 played an important role in the gathering of information during the height of the Cold War. Unfortunately many U-2's were lost, and by 1966 the USAF and CIA signed a contract for the much more advance U-2R.

The U-2R was virtually a complete redesign, other than the J75-P-13B and the wing aerofoil section. Low altitude handling was improved along with an increase in airframe design strength. The wing span was increased 20 percent and wing areas was increased by 75 percent. Maximum take-off weight increased 77 percent over the U-2. Two large sensor pods mounted on the wings differentiate the U-2R from it's predecessor.

Specifications U-2A, U-2B; Engine; (one) Pratt & Whitney J75-P-13 turbojet 75.62 kN. (17,000 lbs. st.), Wing Span 24.38 m. (80' 0"), Length 15.11 m. (49' 7"),  Maximum take-off weight; 7,189 kg. (15,850 lbs.), Maximum level speed 850 km/h (528 mph.) at 12,190 m. (40,000 ft.), Cruising speed; 740 km/h (460 mph), Range; 6,437 km. (4,000 miles.)

Specifications U2R, TR-1A; Engine; (one) Pratt & Whitney J75-P-13B turbojet 77.11 kN. (17,000 lbs. st.), Wing Span 31.39 m. (103' 0"), Length 19.13 m. (62' 11"),  Maximum take-off weight; 18,597kg. (41,000 lbs.)(U-2R),  18,733kg. (41,300 lbs.)(TR-1) Maximum level speed 692 km/h (430 mph.), Ceiling 24,385 m. (80,000 ft.), Range; 10,060 km. (6,250 miles.)

 

u-2a.jpg (14169 bytes) 1114tr1a.jpg (17014 bytes) 1125u2.jpg (10977 bytes)  
u-2b.jpg (20902 bytes) 971495b.jpg (12792 bytes) 971495c.jpg (12034 bytes) 971495a.jpg (10964 bytes)
  1114tr1.jpg (59889 bytes)   903831.jpg (3264 bytes)

In 1978 the USAF undertook to re-open the programme for tactial reconnaisance aircraft and in 1979 the U-2R line opened again for production of the TR-1A. May 11, 1981 the first of the new planes took flight. The first version was the ER-2 a specialized version for the NASA Ames project.  The TR-1A differs mainly from it's predeceasor in the secondary systems and electronics. There is a TR-1B version with a second raised cockpit.

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Wings Over The Pacific was updated November 16, 1998