Author Topic: The secret history of the U-2  (Read 90747 times)

Offline apollolanding

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Re: The secret history of the U-2
« Reply #320 on: 05/06/2014 12:49 AM »
The Deuce made the news today for overloading the LA TRACON's computer systems... The headline incorrectly states that the aircraft scrambled the air traffic control system.  The reality is the computer wasn't able to process an aircraft at 60,000 feet so it assigned it an altitude of 10,000 feet and crapped out trying to de-conflict it with other, lower traffic.  It caused an hour long ground stop across the system.   http://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/faa-confirms-spy-plane-scrambled-air-traffic-control-california-n97751
« Last Edit: 05/06/2014 12:54 AM by apollolanding »
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: The secret history of the U-2
« Reply #321 on: 05/06/2014 01:38 AM »
Interesting thread on the U-2 LAX incedent: http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/read.main/6069712/

One of the more interesting quotes from saturday:
Quote
Controller didn't enter a VFR OTP altitude for the U2 at FL600. According to my FAA sources, when no altitude is input. ERAM begins going through all the coordination in the background. Only issue is... When it does this with no altitude it picks a low altitude which means that it's trying to automatically coordinate with tons of facilities that it believes the aircraft will be flying through (even though it wasn't because we know it was up at FL600). Eventually ERAM filled the buffer due to all that data being processed and the system failed. The kicker is that it was a known issue and apparently a patch had already been done. It just hadn't gone live yet.

Some interesting speculation on the thread that it was not a "normal" flight out of Beale and might have been coming from or going to either Edwards or Palmdale.
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Offline Star One

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The secret history of the U-2
« Reply #322 on: 05/06/2014 06:24 AM »
A very similar comment was also posted on the Foxtrot Alpha article I linked to as well. The article on the aviationist had this comment:

Quote
Even if the article speculates the flight may have originated from Edwards Air Force Base, that is located 30 miles north of the L.A. Center and has hosted U-2s in the past, the spyplane was probably operating out of Beale Air Force Base, home of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, north of Sacramento, which is equipped with last U.S. Air Force’s Dragon Lady jets.
« Last Edit: 05/06/2014 07:05 AM by Star One »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: The secret history of the U-2
« Reply #323 on: 05/06/2014 11:48 AM »
There are two NASA U-2s based at Palmdale, not that far from Edwards. I'm not sure that a U-2 out of Palmdale would reach 60K feet by the time it was flying over Los Angeles (they're not that far apart). Not unless they headed in another direction while climbing and then headed back.

I took this picture out there a few years ago. They use some really odd lighting in the hangar, and so it was difficult trying to get the planes to look normal. I tried going with black and white.

Offline Star One

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Re: The secret history of the U-2
« Reply #324 on: 05/06/2014 12:25 PM »
Is it true the U-2's C Band transponder maxes out at 60,000 feet & they can be flying higher than this?

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: The secret history of the U-2
« Reply #325 on: 05/07/2014 06:09 PM »
Hmmm....

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140506/DEFREG02/305060031/FAA-U-2-Did-Not-Cause-LAX-Control-Center-Computers-Crash

Quote
The Federal Aviation Administration has determined a U-2 spy plane did not cause computers at Los Angles International Airport’s control center to crash.

Earlier media reports indicated that the U-2 may have caused the computers to fail while they were tracking the aircraft, but the FAA determined the problem stemmed from the computers, not the plane.

Also:
Quote
The U-2 from Beale Air Force Base, California, was flying a “routine training mission” through the Los Angeles air control space when the incident occurred, according to Air Combat Command.
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Offline Melt Run

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Re: The secret history of the U-2
« Reply #326 on: 05/07/2014 07:45 PM »
Hmmm....

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140506/DEFREG02/305060031/FAA-U-2-Did-Not-Cause-LAX-Control-Center-Computers-Crash

Quote
The Federal Aviation Administration has determined a U-2 spy plane did not cause computers at Los Angles International Airport’s control center to crash.

Earlier media reports indicated that the U-2 may have caused the computers to fail while they were tracking the aircraft, but the FAA determined the problem stemmed from the computers, not the plane.

You know I think I would believe the FAA. They have a record of actually investigating the cause and effect before jumping to conclusions and I know they (FAA) HATE to be wrong. I recall many years ago that following I the install of the DEW line radar that SAC was very upset when they saw the moon rise and thought the Evel Empire was launching a first strike. They to had a little altitude problem. Lemay almost got his way.

Also:
Quote
The U-2 from Beale Air Force Base, California, was flying a “routine training mission” through the Los Angeles air control space when the incident occurred, according to Air Combat Command.
« Last Edit: 05/08/2014 12:48 PM by Melt Run »

Offline Star One

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Re: The secret history of the U-2
« Reply #327 on: 05/10/2014 09:26 AM »
This book maybe of interest to people on this thread, it seems to be picking up good reviews.

Area 51 - Black Jets: A History of the Aircraft Developed at Groom Lake, America's Secret Aviation Base.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Area-51-Aircraft-Developed-Americas/dp/0760344264/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1399713771&sr=1-1&keywords=area+51+bill+yenne

Offline Targeteer

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Re: The secret history of the U-2
« Reply #328 on: 05/11/2014 01:24 AM »
Hmmm....

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140506/DEFREG02/305060031/FAA-U-2-Did-Not-Cause-LAX-Control-Center-Computers-Crash

Quote
The Federal Aviation Administration has determined a U-2 spy plane did not cause computers at Los Angles International Airport’s control center to crash.

Earlier media reports indicated that the U-2 may have caused the computers to fail while they were tracking the aircraft, but the FAA determined the problem stemmed from the computers, not the plane.

You know I think I would believe the FAA. They have a record of actually investigating the cause and effect before jumping to conclusions and I know they (FAA) HATE to be wrong. I recall many years ago that following I the install of the DEW line radar that SAC was very upset when they saw the moon rise and thought the Evel Empire was launching a first strike. They to had a little altitude problem. Lemay almost got his way.

Also:
Quote
The U-2 from Beale Air Force Base, California, was flying a “routine training mission” through the Los Angeles air control space when the incident occurred, according to Air Combat Command.

The FAA assertion that the U-2 didn't cause the problem really doesn't hold water.  The fact that it was flying VFR above 60K did cause the confuse the computer software enough to cause the problem.  The real question is why did this flight cause this problem when literally thousands of similar flights over the past 50+ years by the U2, SR-71, Global Hawk, and "other" aircraft out there haven't...
Best quote heard during an inspection, "I was unaware that I was the only one who was aware."

Offline Blackstar

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Re: The secret history of the U-2
« Reply #329 on: 05/11/2014 01:30 AM »
The FAA assertion that the U-2 didn't cause the problem really doesn't hold water.  The fact that it was flying VFR above 60K did cause the confuse the computer software enough to cause the problem.  The real question is why did this flight cause this problem when literally thousands of similar flights over the past 50+ years by the U2, SR-71, Global Hawk, and "other" aircraft out there haven't...

Huh? If they say it didn't cause the problem, then that answers your second question.

Why would they lie?

Offline Targeteer

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Re: The secret history of the U-2
« Reply #330 on: 05/11/2014 01:39 AM »
This whole episode does bring back memories of listening to Salt Lake center ATC growing up and hearing a somewhat panicked "cease jamming"  call on my scanner.  The EF-111s Sparkvarks at Mt Home were doing their thing on the local training ranges and apparently completely trashed the ATC radar(s).  There were similar, less vocal complaints when the B-52s started shoveling chaff and jamming 'trons on the Saylor Creek Range.  There really was nothing like hearing "Aspen 31, cleared at or above FL 600" as the Blackbirds finished air refueling and started their climb out.  One day I actually heard a U-2 at altitude directed to descend/climb (I can't remember which :) ) for--traffic!!  Presumably another U-2 which there was at least one of on frequency at the time.  The U-2 call signs back then were Pinion (pin-yun.)  Not sure what they are now.
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Offline Star One

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The secret history of the U-2
« Reply #331 on: 05/11/2014 11:14 AM »
Just to show the US doesn't have the monopoly on mysterious flying craft.

Quote
The Russian unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) program revealed as long ago as 2007 might have reached the flight-test phase. The evidence comes from a near midair over Arkhangelskoye on February 17, reported by the pilots of two L-29 jet trainers belonging to a civilian flying club based at the Barataevka airfield near Ulyanovsk. The L-29 pilots rapidly altered heading and altitude to escape collision with an unidentified flying object that they described as “a heavyweight unmanned air vehicle.”

The object was also detected by ATC radar, flying at 270 knots and nearly 7,000 feet. Approaching the L-29s from the rear, it might have flown into them if not for the controller warning the pilots. The object proceeded in the direction of Penza and disappeared from the radar screen. The pilots’ description indicates it was a jet-powered UCAV with swept wings. In theory, it might be an old Tupolev Tu-143 Reis reconnaissance UAV or a newer Tu-300 Korshun experimental UAV made during 1990s. But local media reported that the mysterious object bore greater similarity to the Skat.

http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/ain-defense-perspective/2014-05-08/mystery-object-near-collision-may-be-russian-ucav
« Last Edit: 05/11/2014 11:23 AM by Star One »

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: The secret history of the U-2
« Reply #332 on: 05/11/2014 06:34 PM »
It has been mentioned in threads on other boards that ERAM is only a few years old. Actually Wiki lists ZLA (Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center) as starting use of it in December... That could explain why the U-2 hasn't crashed the system in the past.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ERAM

Quote
As of December 2013, the Operational Readiness Decision (ORD) for ERAM has been declared at the Salt Lake City, Seattle, Denver (ZDV), Minneapolis (ZMP), Albuquerque (ZAB), Chicago (ZAU), Los Angeles (ZLA), Kansas City (ZKC), Houston (ZHU), Indianapolis (ZID) and Oakland (ZOA) ARTCCs. ORD marks the point after which the legacy HOST Computer System can be decommissioned.

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Offline Star One

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The secret history of the U-2
« Reply #333 on: 05/11/2014 08:53 PM »
« Last Edit: 05/11/2014 09:00 PM by Star One »

Online Chris Bergin

Re: The secret history of the U-2
« Reply #334 on: 05/11/2014 10:00 PM »
We're not a forum about planes. Locked.

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