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Guest uptSTUDXL

U-2 Dragonlady info

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Guest uptSTUDXL

Do you have to be "fighter qualified" (meaning graduate in the top half of your class in Phase 2) to be able to fly the U-2 (because of the T-38 ACE program)?

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Guest Pogo

No, you can come from any aircraft in the USAF inventory right now and until recently it was any aircraft in the US military inventory. Although they advertise for so many hours and so many aircraft commander hours, they're just as interested in the number of flights you've done. 500 hours in a C-5 is not the same as 500 hours in an F-15E etc, so I've heard.

I know a guy who came from C-9s who flys them now and who's also an instructor on T-38s. Well this is just what a guy in the program told me, they're very friendly and open so drop the 1st RS an email. Maybe pay them a visit?

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Guest KoolKat

The Beale website states 1300 total hours and 800 PIC hours (only 500 for a fighter) as minimum hour requirements...

My question is how the current state of affairs, time wise, in the -130 community allow to rack up these hours.

I'll be spending my first few years in Japan.

How about getting the AC upgrade to start diggin in on the PIC time, as well as hours in total.

I know the -130 is in rough shape overall and that can't help with "racking up time," but I was curious as to exactly what some of your experiences were as to what time your getting.

Thanks.

BENDY

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Guest ELan

I'm on the Guard side, but I think AD copilots go to AC school at 700-800 hours and assuming that the unit doesn't feel you're incompetent. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Our Guard unit sends you at 800, assuming they want to upgrade you.

Sounds like you are heading to Yakota. I have a buddy there and he is not flying very much. I'm sure that majority of your hours will come from flying in the box. Yakota is getting Elmendorfs H's, so once that happens, the hours may increase, but I'm speculating. I think some of their E's are on restriction and I know that the unit has been using Elmendorf planes in the box...at least my buddy did.

Our copilots are getting to 800 about 2.0-3.0 years on average. Tack on another 2.5 years for PIC hours and I would think that 5 years may be a target for you.

There are plenty of AD herc guys on here that can help to answer your question, but I thought I would throw that out there. I'm sure HD will have some good stuff for you. Good luck!

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Guest KoolKat

No way, cool Torch. 5 years is alright, that would make me a Senior Captain.

I talked with some Osan peeps and they said there was a senior Capt. flying already. No doubt Shit Hot, but it happened.

As long as you were still a major the Application was total game. (Exception if you got passed over for LTC, but really...come on, if that's the case, why put the app in.)

BENDY

Look foward to the other guys input on the hours that are to be had currently...

[ 17. October 2005, 09:57: Message edited by: Bender ]

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Bendy keep in mind that you are talking about the minimum requirements for the program.

Other upgrades like element and formation lead, IP and EP are probably going to put you in better running than a basic AC.

Originally posted by Bender:

I know the -130 is in rough shape overall and that can't help with "racking up time,"

Not a problem on AD. I'm not PACAF so I can't speak for them. But I have yet to stop deploying since I started flying the Herk. Hours haven't been a problem.

but I think AD copilots go to AC school at 700-800 hours
Very good for a rough wag. Upgrade depends on a number of things. Is the CC comfortable handing you the keys to one of his jets? Is it your turn to go in the rotation of CPs? Is your coloring book done?

The normal range I've been seeing is 600-800 hours and about 1.5-3.0 years. It depends on the person, the unit, and a bunch of other factors.

HD

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Here's a link to a little blurb about the U-2 written by an instructor I simmed with a couple times during T-6s.

U-2 flying

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Guest KoolKat

blkafnav,

That's for the help. At 5 years service, I will be a junior captain (God forbid I'm not.)

The req's says that UPT time doesn't count in the 1300 total, so you can't even begin to start logging time until after winging, a good year plus casual, which was said well enough by BONE.

And for some of us guys that picked up off an AD board, you can tack another year onto that.

Anyhoo, 5 years Ops will still make me a senior Captain, barely. And you can keep that extra year in the right seat for yourself, I won't be needing it.

BENDY

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It's a sorta-common follow on assignment for FAIPs, I hear. The hours come fast.

Why anyone would want to fly the U-2 really eludes me, though. To each his own.

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Guest Hoser

As for the hard part of flying the U-2, there is a 10 knot window they must remain in when they are up there in the bozo-sphere. A couple knots too fast and they rip the wings off, couple knots too slow and they stall.

Hoser

  • Upvote 1

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Word is for every knot above approach speed (whatever that is, maybe 60ish?) you carry over the numbers equals an extra 1,000' down the runway.

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Originally posted by Bender:

Anybody in PACAF willing to way in on hours?

From the guys I've talked to, most of the guy who are CPs at Yokota end up going to AC school somewhere around the 2.5 year point. Some come back for a couple of months then PCS out (at the end of their 36 months for married dudes), some do AC school enroute to their next assignment, and some of the guys that are here for 2 years (single guys) leave before they go to AC school. That being said, we are deploying a lot more these days and we're getting new planes and to some extent taking over Elmendorf's role as they switch from Herks to C-17s. So word is that new CPs should get more time in the future than they have in the past.

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Guest Pogo

Sorry for the late reply, been away.

I know numerous people in the U-2 program and the best advice they always give for people interesting in getting into it is call them.

There are minimum requirements in the book but they're not going to turn away someone who only meets 99% of them and shows they're a great pilot, there is a waiver for everything in Air Force etc.

The URL for all the info is http://www.beale.af.mil/1RS/Interview/u2app.asp

You're right that the U-2 is an abnormal airframe, some applicants withdraw after 5 minutes in the two-seater having to use a yoke and non-FBW system but for the rest its the assignment of their life.

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Guest FCI

Speaking of the U-2. I went to the brief that some U-2 pilots gave here at Vance last week and when the Q & A session came up, promotion of pilots in the program seemed to be a hot topic. Apparently the program is full of passed over Majors. I assume this condidtion exists because the community is small and there aren't a whole lot of opportunitites to move up.

Any thoughts or input on this?

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Guest gtyj98

I was there last year to drop off a friend's U-2 application. We flew into Beale in a C-21 (CT sortie...yeah, that's it). Although I was along for the ride, I was thoroughly impressed with their mission and downright good hospitality. We got to ride in a Camaro to help the pilots land, check out life support, see the new U-2 glass cockpits, and check out their 38 trainers.

The major giving us the tour told us they are looking for mid-senior captains. The reason being was to get them MR, then quickly upgraded them to a 38 IP. They wanted dudes young enough so that they could stay for a tour or two, then come back in a leadership capacity in the future i.e. ADO, DO, CC position. The days of passed over majors and LCs getting in were over--according to him.

He asked me if I wanted to apply, and I told him, "The only way I would come here would be to fly the 38, and to never step in the U2." He laughed and said it's a struggle every year to keep the T-38s. He expects the wing to get T-6s or 37s as their companion trainers in the near future.

Another plus was their deployment rate. They are typically 60 on and 60 off. When they are home they fly the U-2 about twice every 45 days, and in the meantime fly about 2 to 5 times a week in the 38--totally dependant on your job.

Overall, I was very impressed by their mission. It just wouldn't be for me--I'm glad max'n and relax'n in my 17.

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Guest thebronze

Just thought I'd share the excitement w/ my fellow BOPS'ers.

I went to Beale today and got a ride in the chase-car for the U2 (along w/ some sqdnmates) while he was doing some pattern work.

It was AWESOME!

One of the coolest things I've done in a LONG time. (I guess I don't get out enough...)

It was very cool rolling down the RWY at 120 (in a GTO), right behind the U2.

I've had the opportunity to do it for several years now, but never bothered. Now I wish I'd have done it sooner.

If any of you ever get the chance to do it, do it.

You won't be disappointed.

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I am old...did the ride along in a early 90's stang GT at Taif.

I am guessing M2 did his ride along in a Model T while Francis Gary Powers did approaches.

[ 18. April 2006, 19:19: Message edited by: ClearedHot ]

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Guest thebronze
Do the pilots driving the chase car have to take any advanced driving course beforehand?
No, not from what the dude that drove me (STS) said.

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Guest nolanrthompson

All right, just loaded this one to Photo Bucket, I have 3 more I'll load later...I don't have another hour to load them all now.

Crew Chief launching out at RAF Fairford prior to RIAT last year:

http://s58.photobucket.com/albums/g256/nub...t=launch006.flv

Pics from the sandbox:

http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g256/nubbyzr600/U-2.jpg

Nubby

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Folks,

U-2 pilot recruitment is down. Why? Lots of you

- think we're being retired soon;

- are being told by your squadron leadership that it's a "dead end job".

- didn't know you could still apply and come to the U-2

Bottom line, if you even remotely are interested in the U-2, you owe it to yourself to look into it, and even come on our to Beale for a day to look around, ride in the chase car, talk to the drivers, etc... Lots of guys come out here on a cross country, and some just fly out on United or SWA. We're about 50 minutes from Sacramento International airport.

If you're being advised by your leadership to avoid the U-2, ask them if they've even seen a U-2, or if they know even one U-2 pilot. Chances are, they can't even tell you what the U-2 does.

You can always pm me if you like. However, Maj Chris Merten is now running the Recruiting & Acceptance section. Call him at DSN 368-4447, or ping him via email... he's on the Global.

My DSN is 368-3838.

http://www.beale.af.mil/shared/media/docum...-080313-064.doc

Huggy

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