APC tour America 2007 Final Day 9

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ianf
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Re: APC tour America 2007 Day 8

Post by ianf »

Day 9 was our final day and we spent it at Beale home of the U-2. On the way to the base we were told they had agreed to allow four runs down the runway with landing U-2. Rich had one as he was reporting for the magazine, so the other 3 we drew lots for, I did not get on. However when we got there we were informed we had misunderstood. They were allowing just 4 trips per person! So after a introduction and a quick brief it was out to the cars.

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The cars did 2 trips each side of the aircraft.
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With the camera hood off trying to keep a camera still at that speed with you slightly out of the window was actually hard but fun!

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That was definitely a bucket list item ticked off!

There are other aircraft at Beale

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Including the so called U-2 replacement as it was expected at that time. This was a real one and we had to await permission from the pentagon before we were allowed to shoot it.

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Then it did it's "party" piece. the nose wheel oleo extended to give a better angle for take off. I half expected a piece of runway to open up like a door and it blast off like thunderbird 2 :smile:

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Back to the Lady
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With a lull in flying we went back into the office centre and had a brief look at some of the simulators there.
First an unintentional selfie.

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Gallows humour was everywhere.

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The old cockpit layout.

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The newer one.

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Lunch time and even this had something to see out side the cafeteria.

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A quick visit to a hangar before going to the pan.

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In the afternoon we were allowed to watch the crewing in to a high altitude launch.

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At the end of the day we was invited to have a few beers in the mess with some of the crews, free beer and pizza at a U-2 base who says no?!

They also showed us videos of the landings, some of the bad ones including a white original U-2. The commander says you all know this one don't you? blank looks were shared then he told us this was the jet hanging from the roof at Duxford. There was also another person present, Mr U-2 himself Chris Pocock the author, who seems to have access I would not believe, considering he's British. I had a bit of a shock when he spoke to me, he said hi did you enjoy my book? I was amazed he had remember me from a book signing the previous year at Telford. So I told him yes and was able clarify certain things in the book. We was also allowed to take shots of the mess.

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The actual arrestor hook used on the carrier landings U-2 made.

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Last a picture I told Andy he would never guess was on this thread. Did you guess a cat? This cat was the squadron mascot and became the only non human to go to altitude in the Q bay of a U-2. The story goes when it landed and they opened the compartment the cat bolted never to be seen again!

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That finished the best tour I ever went on, Richard Cooper could not be thanked enough for putting this together. and yes I needed a holiday to get over this as it was non stop but very worth it.
Last edited by ianf on Fri 23 Oct 2020, 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Blackbird
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Re: APC tour America 2007 Final Day 9

Post by Blackbird »

What a fantastic trip and a story well told!

Andy

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AndyXH558
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Re: APC tour America 2007 Final Day 9

Post by AndyXH558 »

Nope I didn't think about that. My syd would have wanted to go again lol.

Absolutely fantastic report, I've been privileged to have seen many the pics before but had no idea how comprehensive you had recorded the whole thing.

If I was you I'd make a book out of it. Id buy it.
Those aren't pillows!!!!

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POD
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Re: APC tour America 2007 Final Day 9

Post by POD »

Excellent , looks like a great trip :thumbsup:
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redbearing
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Re: APC tour America 2007 Final Day 9

Post by redbearing »

Cannot think of a word to say about this thread, except Thanks!! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

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Re: APC tour America 2007 Final Day 9

Post by Airwolfhound »

Awesome shots and experience, thanks for sharing :-)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/24874528@N04/

Agile, mobile and hostile ;-)