To the edge of space in a spyplane

James May from Top Gear U.K. takes an emotional ride to the edge of space in a U2 spyplane. Amazing.

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Picture of Cavabardus44 achievements

+56 1. Cavabardus commented 13 years ago

Where can I buy a ticket ? :)
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+34 2. Zumo commented 13 years ago

Amazing, thanks for posting this video O:)
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+32 3. 43lux commented 13 years ago

Incredibly amazing. I guess, if you're at this altitude you'll get a whole new concept of things.
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+21 4. ICdevil commented 13 years ago

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+25 5. THEHOFFY commented 13 years ago

i would give anything to get a brilliant experiance like that btw james may rocks XD
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+20 6. ktg_5 commented 13 years ago

i dont know why, i just couldn't stop watching this one!
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+17 7. Benson1984 commented 13 years ago

That's truely amazing, thx a million for posting. ;)
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+14 8. silly_sy commented 13 years ago

incredable! id love ago
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+12 9. polishdemon commented 13 years ago

That'd be absolutely incredible...
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+8 10. nooitaf (admin) commented 13 years ago

me too me too 8-)
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+23 11. sux2bu commented 13 years ago

I loved the rear-view mirror on the left side of the plane. Who or what could be trying to pass! :)
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+14 12. NathaneM commented 13 years ago

WOW, incredible. So I still have the chance to go to space.
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+10 13. richardhalo commented 13 years ago

Let's hope the humanity will understand the importance of Earth and make up their minds already and start the Space Age. So much to see, so much to discover.
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+6 14. Wildsnake commented 13 years ago

Go Captain Slow!! :D
I so much I could be there!!! :S :'( :'(
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-10 15. s1nn0cence commented 13 years ago

best place everrr to smoke a joint at! /innocent
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+9 16. Giles commented 13 years ago

The whole documentary is awesome. If you've got BBC iPlayer - James May at the Edge of Space. Highly recommend it. :)

If you don't have iPlayer, I'm sure at least the intelligent ones among you are capable of figuring out how to use a torrent client.. ;)
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+6 17. Zoooidberg commented 13 years ago

Awesome!! (not the Majors glasses though!)
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+5 18. khataroo commented 13 years ago

Wowza! 8-)I would love to experience that and since I probably wont, I sure am glad that this was filmed for it is the next best thing to being there. Awesome post and thanks for sharing. 8-) 8-)
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+8 19. JerryD commented 13 years ago

#15 'best place everr to smoke a joint at!' !?!? DUUUH!?
Who the fooook need a joint up there!? Dont believe there's anything that beats this! I would be beyond euphoric being up there. Totaly agree with #13 ... lets start the Space Age for real, not only sniffing around the edge of it but go for it to 100 % ... :) :) ... think of all the adventure that waits!!!!
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+6 20. kainim commented 13 years ago

looks so peaceful up there, and beautiful
and then they had a conversation of what 'food' they wood eat :P

was funny yet breathtaking
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+6 21. budley commented 13 years ago

Absolutely amazing, i wish i could do something lie that! Hopefully it will soon be a ride i can buy tickets for :D

#11 Random guess but i think the rear view mirror is for when you taxi about on the ground, imagine trying to reverse park that :D
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-7 22. nemmie commented 13 years ago

Truly amazing! But so scary, just look at:
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-7 23. h4x0r commented 13 years ago

Is Bono on that U2 spyplane? :)
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+5 24. Combo commented 13 years ago

Nice video. He reaches ~80,0000 feet then flies back down. There's a video on YouTube of a guy who flies to 102,800 feet then jumps out. Even nicer.
Picture of JerryD14 achievements

+5 25. JerryD commented 13 years ago

#22 ... ROFL! It's like watching a high flying swallow and then u goes on with something like an eagle. The vid u mention is about a D-21 drone piggybacking on a M-21, a forerunner to the more famous SR-71 Blackbird. Thou have to say its a very interesting piece of 'techno-history' ! ... Believe the only thing flying in the atmosphere that could beat this is a ride with the SR-71... :)
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+6 26. DarkiKun commented 13 years ago

i have the full thing, and i have watched it countless times now =) most be amazing to be up there. awesome
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-4 27. rn1995 commented 13 years ago

Great Video!! Too bad the guys aren't carrying the gear, and the ladies are doing the flying!!!
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+5 28. LightAng3l commented 13 years ago

My fear of heights is gone ! I'm CURED !!!
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+3 29. peterpan007 commented 13 years ago

that was beautiful
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+4 30. timennor commented 13 years ago

#11 and #21: The U2 has only center line landing gear, with no permanently attached gear out at the end of those long, flexible wings. When the pilot taxis out for takeoff, the aircraft does have small wheels on short struts which are temporarily attached out at the wing tips. They're attached in such a way that they will both drop off (on the runway) upon takeoff.

I may be wrong, but I think that the rear view mirror is used by the pilot on his landing rollout, to confirm that the ground crew's truck is following closely, so that if any drooping of the wings might cause the wingtip(s) come close to touching the ground, the ground crew will be able to remedy the problem; they have the wing tip wheel/strut assemblies in their truck and will quickly install them to allow the aircraft to continue to taxi into its parking spot.

You're right, though, about the aircraft not being able to back up on its own. There are tugs with the proper equipment that will allow the ground crew to move the plane back into the hangar. :D

#17: The pilot/Major is possibly wearing glasses to correct a slight change in his eyesight from the 20/20 requirement that pilot trainees must have in order to be accepted into the USAF training program.

I was a graduate of the Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) Class 69-D at Webb AFB in Big Spring, Texas in December 1969; one member of the class had his eyesight tested about halfway through the 53-week program, and was found to have a slight change in the 20/20 requirement that he had initially met. He was allowed to continue, and wore glasses while flying from then on.

I think he went off to fly fighters after graduation, so just because an AF pilot wears glasses, they don't qualify him as a wimp. The Major flying the U2 while wearing glasses seems to bear this out, wouldn't you say? 8-)
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-7 31. likon commented 13 years ago

wtf trully amazing the wiew ,but i wonder if u're spy Rusia i think u're wings were cut off sry about my thinkin but i belive it is the truth (and i'm not rusian)
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+5 32. GOOSE42 commented 11 years ago

Way to go capt. slow!
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-9 33. Jamboree commented 11 years ago

The Lockheed U-2, nicknamed "Dragon Lady", is a single-engine, very high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft operated by the United States Air Force and previously flown by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). It provides day and night, very high-altitude (70,000 feet / 21,000 meters), all-weather intelligence gathering.[1] The aircraft is also used for electronic sensor research and development, satellite calibration, and satellite data validation.

In the early 1950s, with Cold War tensions on the rise, the U.S. military desired better strategic reconnaissance to help determine Soviet capabilities and intentions. The existing reconnaissance aircraft, primarily bombers converted for reconnaissance duty, were vulnerable to anti-aircraft artillery, missiles, and fighters. It was thought an aircraft that could fly at 70,000 feet (21,000 m) would be beyond the reach of Soviet fighters, missiles, and even radar.[2] This would allow overflights (knowingly violating a country's airspace) to take aerial photographs.
Original U-2A at USAF Museum

Under the code name "Bald Eagle", the Air Force gave contracts[3] to Bell Aircraft, Martin Aircraft, and Fairchild Engine and Airplane to develop proposals for the new reconnaissance aircraft. Officials at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation heard about the project and asked aeronautical engineer Clarence "Kelly" Johnson to come up with a design. Johnson was a brilliant designer, responsible for the P-38 Lightning, and the P-80. He was also known for completing projects ahead of schedule, working in a separate division of the company jokingly called the Skunk Works.
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+1 34. loadrunner commented 10 years ago

34 millon dollar equipment and no device to scratch your nose. :(

But the view makes every discomfort disappear
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+1 35. GhostInShell commented 10 years ago

If i got one ride in that up there, i could die happy the next day :D