Wednesday, January 14, 2009

U2 Carrier Landings?

The following brought to us by our colleague, Rick Spencer:

Written by someone who was there in the 60s:

The aircraft carrier you see in this video, CV 61, was the
Ranger, retired in 1993.

The U-2 was a cold war spy plane used by the Air Force
to keep tabs on The Soviet Union. It flew so high it was
thought that it couldnt be shot down by anything that
existed then...that is until Gary Francis Powers was shot
down over the Soviet Union by a new SA 2 Guideline
surface to air missile...used extensively later during the
Vietnam war. It caused the demise of many Navy and
Air Force aircraft. The U2 is a glider with an engine....
NEVER meant for anything but land based operations.
Note the wing tips hitting the deck and the ships crew
holding the wing up for launch. For experienced Navy
tailhookers.....note the very shallow glideslope...
definitely Air Force runway approach procedures
because of the delicate landing gear. Navy planes are
made to "crash" onto the deck and the landing gear
on all Navy aircraft are significantly more beefy than
any Air Force airplane. This took significant skill and
guts to see if it could be done. These pictures are a
first .....very few people knew that this was done.

This cruise was in late 62 or early 63. After the U2
carrier quals, we departed Oakland with 2 U2's and
about 6 F4's. aboard the Ranger (CVA61), We had
7or 8 crews, some maintenance guys, and 3 Air Force (or
maybe CIA) U2 pilots. Our OinC was John Young
(later Astronaut) . We were gone about 3 weeks.
Never found out where we went except that we
crossed the equator and had a big shellback
ceremony. After about a week the U2's flew
several 6 or 7 hour missions and then we turned for
home. We flew several times during the cruise just
for proficiency but just in the landing pattern. No
TACAN locks and no radar returns (and no bingo
fields!) so we were way out in the middle of

You won't believe this!

Click on: U2 Carrier Landing Video Footage from the 60s


Anonymous said...

The link of the U2 carrier landing also has two DVD's with "never before seen footage" of both the U2 and SR-71. Has anyone seen these videos or posted a review?

Anonymous said...

i was abord the ranger and operated spin12 radir for every landing during this peorid of time.

Papa Hans said...

Hello Anonymous!!! Thanks for your comment! Very interesting! We'd like to know who you are! How did you find us? Could you leave another Comment with an e-mail address? Or e-mail me directly at Please?