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View Diary: The last of the true interceptors – the BAC Lightning F.6, XR771 (47 comments)

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  •  Could not have been. (9+ / 0-)

    At altitude, there is only a six knot speed window the U-2 has to stay in, lest bad things start to happen.  Too slow and it stalls....too fast and it gets into compressibility and will start shedding parts.

    I know all this because my instrument instructor was a U-2 pilot.  He had to be somewhat circumspect in just how much information he could share.

    The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

    by Otteray Scribe on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:24:13 PM PST

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    •  I've heard that, yes. (6+ / 0-)

      Mach limit = stall speed, just about.

      But when thinking in terms of wing loading,
      Lightening, about 95 lb/ft^2, takeoff wt
      U2, about 40 lb.ft^2, takeoff wt

      which seems to tell me that at the same air density, and neglecting lift from the engines due to high angle of attack, the U2 would require about 42 percent of the lift per unit area of the lightening for level flight. And since it had a wing with high aspect ratio and a thick section compared to the low-aspect ratio thin wing of the Lightening, my guess is that the stall speed of the U-2 would have been considerably less than that of the Lightening. And since the U-2 was pretty much required to fly at about its stall speed at altitude, the Lightening probably was going considerably faster. Unless it was zoom-climbing.

      That's not a real analysis, though, just a patchwork of guesses.

      Moderation in most things.

      by billmosby on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:42:19 PM PST

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    •  You are living a heartbeat away from... (6+ / 0-)

      .....really bad things if you fly in Q corner.

      'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

      by shortfinals on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:35:01 PM PST

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      •  There was a B-47 that disintegrated (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        subtropolis, Simplify, shortfinals, KenBee

        over Little Rock, Arkansas in 1960.  Apparently everyone had their heads down and the plane started into a graveyard spiral.  When the pilot realized what was happening, he yanked the stick to straighten it up and pull out.  Airplane parts rained down on a schoolyard, which mercifully was empty of kids.  Q corner can be an unforgiving bitch.  

        Here is an account of that accident.

        The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

        by Otteray Scribe on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:23:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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