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View Diary: My Favorite Airplane (311 comments)

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  •  I have a copy of that around here somewhere... (3+ / 0-)
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    Otteray Scribe, alefnot, Simplify

    I got a copy of it (IIRC) from NASA Dryden shortly after a declassified version was released.  It's nice to see it online.

    Pretty amazing.  IIRC, Vne was Mach 3.44 (airframe heating), and the usual flight envelope was to do the dipsy-doodle to cross Mach at FL250-FL270 or so, with a constant 400-450 KEAS climb  up to 80,000' or so.  I've also got some patches that flew with Marta Bohn-Meyer in NASA's blackbird at > Mach 3.1.  (And I see now that she died several years ago in an aerobatic accident.  Bummer.)

    I do not have a copy of the U-2 flight manual, but have flown with someone who piloted its semi-civilian successor.  He claimed (and I'm still not sure I believe) that at altitude the yaw string hung limp.

    •  Dragon Lady (3+ / 0-)
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      eyesoars, Simplify, Otteray Scribe

      Though to a groundpounder like me it'll always be the Cyclops.

      Just outside the hangar doors was parked the Mothership.

      You can see the lift cradle inside the number 5(?) engine. On the side are stenciled all of its drops, including a number of X-15s (about the one thing that makes a Blackbird look slow). At the time I think it was carrying the X43.

      •  Never heard "cyclops" before... (2+ / 0-)
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        alefnot, Otteray Scribe

        What's the history there?

        I have some old NASA summary reports on the X-15, including all the flights and their pilots (Armstrong, Crossman, ...) but have no photos of anything related to it.  Thanks for the photos!  The mothership is gorgeous, as is the dragon lady.  My memory of U-2 photos is of black aircraft, not white.

        I'd argue that the space shuttle makes the X-15 look slow, but for a glider the shuttle's glide ratio is pretty sad.  The X-15 was the epitome of cool in my childhood.

        •  Re: Cyclops (3+ / 0-)
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          Otteray Scribe, Simplify, eyesoars

          No history -- AFAIK it's just me. It's just that the first thing you see when it comes in is a giant single spotlight.

          These are actually research aircraft (civvy version I think is called ER-2). They provided among other things much of what we know about the ozone hole. I've been on campaigns with them though never had anything on board (I was on the DC8, below, so I'm not really a groundpounder)

          The 8 didn't have anything like the ceiling of the ER-2 of course, but could carry a lot more and could profile the column in a way that the ER-2 could not. Here's an image from below 1000' ASL in the middle of the Pacific. Try that in an ER-2!

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