Air Power Series>1:72 die-cast display model>U-2>HA6903

U-2S Dragon Lady 80-1074, Fairford AB, 2014
General Background
In 1954 Lockheed received approval to produce a high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft. The creation of this aircraft went to Lockheed’s Skunk Works and the famous Kelly Johnson. The aircraft, a single-engine jet that could provide images day or night over Soviet territory, was labeled U-2 (U=utility) and given the name “Dragon Lady”. The first test flight took place in 1955 and was used by the CIA and the USAF during the Cold War. The U-2 came to international notoriety in 1960 when one piloted by Gary Power was shot down over the Soviet Union.
The Aircraft
The USAF has deployed the U-2 from the 9th RW at Beale AFB to Fairford AB in Gloucestershire England to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. This move demonstrates the U.S. commitment to allies in the region. U-2 80-1074 was built in 1984 as TR-1A and underwent the PLSS program, transferred to 17th RW in 1990.In 1992 the aircraft was transferred to the 9th RW and in 1996 was reconfigured as a U-2S. This aircraft had taken part in "Operation Desert Storm". This release includes a spine-mounted satellite communication system known as either Senior Span or Senior Spur, depending on how the jet is configured. Senior Span provides the conveyance of signals intelligence collection data beyond line of sight and around the globe. Senior Spur is used for transmitting other forms of data, including image intelligence and electronic intelligence gathered by the U-2's sensors.
Specifications :
Manufacturer: Lockheed Skunk Works
Number Produced or Converted: 104
Role: High-altitude Reconnaissance
Crew: 1
First Deployment Date: U-2R – 1967
U-2S - 1994
Length: U-2R – 63 ft
U-2S – 63 ft
Wingspan: U-2R – 103 ft
U-2S – 103 ft
Empty: U-2R – 14,900 lbs
Maximum Take-Off: U-2R – 41,000 lbs
U-2S – 41,000 lbs
Powerplant :
U-2R: P7W J75-P-13B
Thrust – 17,000 lbst
U-2S: GE F-118-101
Thrust – 19,000 lbst
Celling: U-2R – 80,000 ft
U-2S – 90,000 ft
Range: U-2R – 3,500 miles
U-2S – 4,600 miles