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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 155918
Last updated: 29 January 2021
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Date:19-DEC-1956
Time:
Type:Lockheed U-2A
Owner/operator:Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Registration: 56-6690
C/n / msn: 3357
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Navajo Indian Reservation, North Eastern Arizona -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Test
Departure airport:Groom Lake, Nevada
Destination airport:
Narrative:
On December 19 1956, CIA pilot Bob Ericson was flying U-2A (56-6690) at 35,000 feet when he suffered an oxygen failure. As he began to pass out, the aircraft went out of control. Ericson managed to open the canopy, and parachute to a safe landing on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona.

56-6690 was modified for a series of radar cross section (RCS) tests called Project RAINBOW. Lockheed attempted to reduce the RCS of the U-2 using radar-absorbent materials.

Another U-2, 56-6677, was strung with piano wire of varying dipole lengths between the nose and wings of the aircraft to reduce the radar signature. These methods created extra drag with a resultant penalty in range and altitude. The U-2 aircraft modified under Project RAINBOW were known as "dirty birds" because they were not aerodynamically "clean."

Sources:

http://www.dreamlandresort.com/area51/dreamland_timeline.html
http:/ona/www.blackbirds.net/u2/u2local.html
http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1956_2.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navajo_Nation


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
13-May-2013 09:29 Dr. John Smith Added

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