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U-2 Dragon Lady
- Type: SPH
- Class: aircraft
- Part Count: 111
- Pure Stock
Lockheed U-2 Dragon Lady
The U-2 was a pioneering super-high altitude reconnaissance aircraft designed by Kelly Johnson’s Skunkworks. After getting wind of an Air Force contract not offered to Lockheed, Johnson developed the U-2 in nine months to meet the contract. Despite opposition, the U-2 easily outperformed the competition and scored the contract.
In order to reach altitudes 70,000 feet and above, the U-2 was designed to be as lightweight as possible. So much so, that the U-2 only carries two landing gear in the fuselage, requiring detachable wheels to taxi and takeoff, and a chase car to help the pilot set the U-2 down safely on landing.
The U-2 was an invaluable spy aircraft during the Cold War. It penetrated deep into Soviet territory, beyond the reach of anti-air missiles and enemy interceptors, photographing installations. One U-2 flight revealed the nuclear missiles on Cuba pointed at the United States, sparking the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Now, U-2s fly many important reconnaissance missions, and also HALE (High-Altitude Long Endurance) missions for NASA and other research organizations.
Like it’s real life counterpart, this U-2 is not for the faint of heart. Known as the hardest aircraft in the world to land, the U-2 is faithfully represented here.
How to land:
1.) Approach the runway low and slow, at about 150m/s.
2.) Deploy the gear (not the training wheels)
3.) Hit brakes and AG1 to toggle flaps when ~1km from the end of the runway
4.) Land on a extremely shallow glideslope, just above stall speed (~50m/s)
5.) Keep it upright until at a complete stop, then enable the training wheels to taxi (RCS)