109 – Flying the U-2 Dragon Lady

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This is the long-awaited episode about the Lockheed U-2 Dragon Lady reconnaissance airplaine, the highest-flying jet-powered airplane currently in use. Our guest in the episode is Carl LaRue who has been flying the U-2C and the U-2R in the 60s and 70s. In the episode we discuss the airplane itself, the challenge of flying it, as well as a number of anecdotes surrounding the Dragon Lady.

U-2 Videos:


7 Responses to 109 – Flying the U-2 Dragon Lady

  1. Pingback: Anonymous

  2. Geoffrey says:

    I interrupted clearing the backlog of omega tau podcasts to listen to this on as soon as it downloaded. Just like you Markus, I was looking forward to this one. It’s certainly a remarkable aircraft. Excellent interview.

  3. MaNo says:

    thanks :-)

  4. martin says:

    Not just a cool aircraft but an entertaining talk. More anecdote than dry technical content – so non-experts might need to look up why coffin-corner is bad. In the same style as #73, does the USAF select it’s pilots solely on the basis of being interesting, engaging speakers?

  5. MaNo says:

    They have at least one more skill: they can fly reasonably well, otherwise they wouldn’t survive to the age where they can tell all these stories :-)

  6. anmasijo says:

    Definitely one of my favorite episodes! I already had the same thought as martin above: nearly all of those pilots you talked to were so very convincing in their talk, they really lived their job!
    I also did learn many new aspects of flying in these special terms and was barely astonished for instance about the take-off capabilities (e.g. 200 ft of running before take-off, 45 to 50° angle of climbing…) and the fact, that there is so little power necessary for flying at the high altitudes, etc, etc.
    Really, really good stuff and a humorous, experienced and willing guest Carl LaRue!
    Thanks a lot to both of you!

    LOL: PIO… Pilot induced oscillation…

    Und als Segelflieger ist diese Episode tatsächlich doppelt interessant, trennt einen doch fast nur dieses Triebwerk von ansonsten vielen gemeinsamen Erfahrungen…

  7. MaNo says:

    The 200ft takeoff roll also surprised me!

    Thanks for your nice words – I will forward them to Carl!


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