U2 ‘Dragonlady’ pilots spy on ISIS from the edge of space
In the Middle East (CNN)Getting dressed for a combat mission in a U2 “Dragonlady” reconnaissance plane looks almost like the preparations for a space flight, the pilot in a yellow compression suit wearing a massive white helmet.
The suits need to be cooled the entire time, otherwise the pilots would die of heat exhaustion in a matter of minutes, but they are necessary to protect the crew members as they fly surveillance missions over Iraq and Syria at more than 70,000 feet scoping out ISIS targets.
The US Air Force gave CNN rare access to U2 crews flying out of a secret location in the Middle East. We can only identify the pilots by their rank, first name and their call sign.
The pilot getting suited up was named Capt. Steven. His call sign is “Meathead.” He was brought to the plane in a bus similar to those that bring astronauts to their spacecraft. He was connected to a mobile cooling unit the entire time.
Dozens of ground personnel were readying the U2 jet for a 10-hour mission.
“You do things to keep your mind busy,” Capt. Steven said, referring to the toll the long hours sitting in the cockpit take on them. “The radios are constantly going, there’s constant communications with guys on the ground. So it keeps you busy.”
Posted Date:- November 27, 2016
Posted By:- Admin Author
Posted in:- Global News
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