The Lockheed U-2 spy plane is no easy plane to pilot—and especially during takeoff ...
The Lockheed U-2 spy plane is no easy plane to pilot—and especially during takeoff and landings.
This is because a plane is extremely sensitive to crosswinds and has the tendency to lift even when the spoilers and flaps are set for descent. And the latter forces the pilot to stall a plane to get it on the ground.
As the result, the United States Air Force uses chase vehicles to help pilots manage smooth takeoff and landings and ensure nothing goes awry.
The duty has gone to the handful of different cars over the decades that U-2 has been in use, and now it seems the Air Force has chosen the Tesla Model S.
New video from the recent U-2 landing shows the white Tesla Model S performing chase car duties. Its task is simple, yet ever important: mash a throttle as soon as the spy plane is ahead and call out altitude and the wing altitude over the radio.
The information is crucial to ensure spoilers and the flaps are deployed or disengaged at the right time for the safe takeoff or landing. So, in layman’s terms, it is the coolest job in the world: chase spy planes down the runway.
Previously, the USAF used Pontiac G8 GTs as chase vehicle, but it is also used Chevrolet Camaros, Pontiac GTOs and the various other quick-accelerating machines.
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