Herpa HE559195 – 1/200 Scale U-2R “Dragon Lady” Diecast Model
|Length||9.2 cm||3.62 in||Approx|
|Wingspan||16.0 cm||6.30 in||Approx|
Diecast model features include:
- Constructed with metal and plastic components
- Undercarriage fixed extended
- Display stand not included.
1/200 Scale Lockheed U-2R “Dragon Lady” – Herpa HE559195
Herpa HE559195 diecast model replicates in 1/200 scale the Lockheed U-2R “Dragon Lady” of the 5th Reconnaissance Squadron (RS) “Black Cats”, 9th Reconnaissance Wing (RW), United States Air Force (USAF). While stationed at Osan Air Base, South Korea.
The 5th Reconnaissance Squadron (5 RS) is the fifth oldest United States Air Force squadron, with a lineage going back to the formation of the 5th Aero Squadron on May 5, 1917.
The Lockheed U-2 is an American single-engine, single-seat, high altitude reconnaissance aircraft, able to reach an altitude of 21,000 m (70,000 ft), capable of operating both day and night, in all weather conditions. The maiden flight took place on August 1, 1955, with the first operational mission over the USSR occurring on July 4, 1956. Designed by a team led by Clarence “Kelly” Johnson of the famous Lockheed “Skunk Works” for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the United States Air Force (USAF). At the time of the aircraft’s inception, it was believed, at that altitude to be above the reach of Soviet defences and radar. It is one of a small group of aircraft types to served with USAF for over 50 years.
To extend the aircraft’s reach and eliminate foreign government red tape the CIA began testing aircraft carrier operations, named “Project Whale Tail” in 1964. Three aircraft gained arrester hooks, strengthened undercarriage and lift dump spoilers on the wings for the trials. The only known operational mission from a carrier took place in May 1964, to spy on French atomic test in the Pacific. The program is believed to have ended in the early 1970s. The U-2 flew missions during the Cold War over the Soviet Union, China, Vietnam, Cuba, more recently Afghanistan, Iraq and several multinational NATO operations.
The Lockheed U-2, basically a jet-powered glider, with its long tapered wing and minimal weight, give it the high altitude performance but also makes it hard to fly with little margin for error. Most aircraft are single-seat with only five known two-seat trainers. The cockpit has partial pressurisation, equivalent to 8,500 m (28,000 ft), the pilot wears a partially pressurised space suit.
Early variants used the Pratt & Whitney J57 turbojet engines, the U-2C and TR-1A, the more powerful Pratt & Whitney J75 and the U-2S/TU-2S the even more powerful General Electric F118 turbofan. Shell Oil developed the JP-7 fuel for the U-2; a low-volatility, low vapour pressure jet fuel that doesn’t evaporate at high altitudes.
The undercarriage is a bicycle configuration with a set of main wheels just behind the cockpit and steerable set behind the engine. Wheel units called “pogos” attached under each wing, mid-span to maintain balance during ground movement and take-off, dropping away when the plane becomes airborne.
The aircraft carries a variety of sensors, capable of collecting signals, imagery and air samples. Imagery sensors include film photography, electro-optic, and radar imagery.
Significant variants were the U-2A, the initial production model, U-2R/Tu-1A with enlarged airframes by nearly 30 per cent, underwing pods and increased fuel capacity. The U-2Gs were the three modified for carrier operations.
Lockheed U-2S specifications
- Flight crew: pilot
- Length: 19.2 m (63 ft)
- Wingspan: 32 m (105 ft)
- Height: 4.8 m (16 ft)
- Empty weight: 7,300 kg (16,000 lbs)
- Engine: single General Electric F118-101 turbofan
- Cruise speed: 760 km/h (472 mph), Mach 0.715 at 72,000 ft
- Range: 11,280 km (7,oo9 mi)
- MTOW: 18,000 kg (40,000 lb)
- Service ceiling: 24,400 m (80,000 ft).