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The Wheel Deal

Fixing you up with life in the fast lane.
Posted: January 9th, 2013 | By Thomas Falkiner

A Chevrolet Camaro SS chasing down a Lockheed U-2. Yeah, mechanical mash-ups seldom get more awesome than this. Filmed at Beale Air Force Base, California, this clip shows what it’s like to chase one of the world’s most famous spy planes in one of the world’s most revered pony cars. In case you were wondering, Detroit brawlers like the Camaro and Mustang have long been part and parcel of American U-2 operations as they help the pilots to better position their difficult-to-fly spy planes during landings.

 
 


Comments

 

Justin McCall

January 9, 2013 at 5:18 pm

A little explanation from Wikipedia on why the U-2 requires chase car assistance – The U-2 is very sensitive to crosswinds which, together with its tendency to float over the runway, makes the U-2 notoriously difficult to land. As the aircraft approaches the runway, the cushion of air provided by the high-lift wings in ground effect is so pronounced that the U-2 will not land unless the wing is fully stalled. To assist the pilot, the landing U-2 is paced by a chase car (usually a “souped-up” performance model) and with an assistant (another U-2 pilot) who “talks” the pilot down by calling off the angles and declining height of the aircraft in feet as it decreases in airspeed. Cars used have been Ford Mustang SSP, Chevrolet Camaro B4C, Pontiac GTO, Pontiac G8 GT), and (as of 2012) 20 standard Chevrolet Camaro SS perform the landing assistance worldwide.[



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