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U2

Old 17th May 2021, 20:16
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U2

Excuse if this is elswhere: but did I see a U2 this pm approx 1515L over Evesham, Worcs, approx 3 - 4000ft, heading Southeast?
I am aware they were based at Alconbury many moons back, but are there any currently based in UK?
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Old 18th May 2021, 03:27
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They regularly fly from Fairford - you can occasionally see 'em on ADSB sites.
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Old 18th May 2021, 08:15
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Stage through Fairford pretty much monthly on their way to/from the Middle East
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Old 18th May 2021, 09:12
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
Stage through Fairford pretty much monthly on their way to/from the Middle East
Now based at Fairford, 3 of them!
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Old 18th May 2021, 13:06
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Currently 4 at Fairford on swap over.
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Old 18th May 2021, 16:44
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what's the total fleet these days?
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Old 18th May 2021, 16:50
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U-2? TR-1? Whichever!
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Old 18th May 2021, 17:18
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Bit of a thread drift but what mission do they carry that can not be performed by those might UAVs and Sats?!
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Old 18th May 2021, 17:39
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Originally Posted by atakacs View Post
Bit of a thread drift but what mission do they carry that can not be performed by those might UAVs and Sats?!
Much more precise tasking (satellites have intervals between passes) and can loiter. Bigger sensor payload (plus human in cockpit) and probably better coverage (range and speed) than most UAV. U-2S has published range of 6000 miles+, I believe the only drone that beats it is RQ-4 Global Hawk. U-2 has greater payload and probably more special ones than the drones

I am not an expert but do work with all kinds of satellite and aerial sensors (mainly lidar).
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Old 18th May 2021, 18:28
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I heard a story whilst I was at Akr where they were talking about a trial between the Global Hawk and the U2, at the end of the sortie they cut the comms link, the Global Hawk would eventually have ditched at a location, the U2 pilot would have flown the aircraft back. Sounds a bit simple but makes sense.
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Old 18th May 2021, 22:23
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Originally Posted by KPax View Post
I heard a story whilst I was at Akr where they were talking about a trial between the Global Hawk and the U2, at the end of the sortie they cut the comms link, the Global Hawk would eventually have ditched at a location, the U2 pilot would have flown the aircraft back. Sounds a bit simple but makes sense.
Probably true then, not so much any more. I'd expect the Global Hawk by now to have the needed landing data for every field within range. Data storage has become really cheap.
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Old 19th May 2021, 00:04
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Current fleet is 27 x U-2S fleet + 4 x TU-2S.

99th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron has been based permanently at RAF Fairford since September 2019.
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Old 19th May 2021, 00:55
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Old 19th May 2021, 07:25
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Originally Posted by RAFEngO74to09 View Post
Current fleet is 27 x U-2S fleet + 4 x TU-2S.

99th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron has been based permanently at RAF Fairford since September 2019.
thanks - no doubt saves a lot of unnecessary wear & tear
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Old 19th May 2021, 10:17
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I guess they are also worth keeping just in case someone does manage to hack the drones. It is hard to imagine that there isnt a huge amount of effort being put in to find a way to make that happen.........
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Old 19th May 2021, 21:48
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The F-22 and F-35 Can Now Talk to Each Other, All Because of a U-2


https://www.popularmechanics.com/mil...-u2-spy-plane/
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