The US Air Force announced that a U-2 Dragon Lady crashed yesterday after its crew of two ejected. One pilot did not survive:
The aircraft was assigned to 1st Reconnaissance Squadron at Beale Air Force Base, and was on a training mission. Two pilots were onboard and ejected the aircraft. One pilot is confirmed deceased, while the other sustained injuries.
The U-2 is technically a single-place airplane. There were 5 aircraft Read more
The controversial DoD budget proposal that has been in the news for the past few weeks contains two specific items for the US Air Force — the end (again) for the A-10 Thunderbolt II (“Warthog”), and the U-2 Dragon Lady.
The former is supposed to be replaced by the F-35; the latter, by the unmanned RQ-4 Global Hawk.
The A-10 has been on and off the chopping block for decades — most recently preserved by the very intentional efforts of a single Senator, who now calls this decision a “serious mistake.”
The Associated Press penned a piece saying the US Air Force has been saddled by an aging fleet of aircraft thanks to “past inattention” and a “lack of urgency.”
For decades, the U.S. Air Force has grown accustomed to such superlatives as unrivaled and unbeatable. These days, some of its key combat aircraft are being described with terms like geriatric, or decrepit.
The article then details some of the aircraft the Air Force is flying, including the KC-135, B-52, and U-2 (1950s), and F-15, F-16, and A-10 (1970s). Modern era Read more
In an interesting turnabout, the Air Force is responding to a tightening budget by canceling the much vaunted RQ-4 Global Hawk program and extending the life of the manned U-2 it was intended to replace. The decision reportedly affects the Block 30 Global Hawk, but not the Block 40 or Navy variants.
The Air Force wants to terminate the Block 30 Northrop Read more
CIA civilian Gary Powers, infamously shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960 in a U-2, will be posthumously awarded a Silver Star by the US Air Force.
The Air Force determined that the U-2 pilot showed “steadfast loyalty” while under harsh interrogation in Soviet prisons… [citing] his “sustained courage” and gallantry despite “cajolery, trickery, insults and threats of death.”
Issues of classification and political strain kept Powers from any Read more