Posted on March 1, 2012 by modelworks
As tension build-up as the world watches the North Korea’s transition of power, Washington is realizing the importance of U-2 spy planes more than ever before.
The legendary U-2 “Dragonlady” has been serving the US Armed Forces since the beginning of the Cold War. Its main use is to monitor the actions of secretive nations. And in the midst of a critical period at North Korea, U-2 is proving that it can keep up with unmaned spy drones like Global Hawk.
In a rare interview with the Associated Press, pilots of the U-2 spy plane shared some information about its missions. Three U-2 planes are based on the Osan Air Base in South Korea. It is just 50 miles away from the border. U-2 missions are flown every day. According to the squadron commander, they are the eyes and ears to the North Korea. Its extreme high altitude and intelligence capabilities make it very sought after.
In the missions on North Korea, the U-2 aircraft is affirming its relevance to today’s hi-tech aviation. Unlike satellites it can be redirected on short notice to other target areas. It high altitude capabilities make it nearly impossible to track or intercept. It also survey a broader target area than low-flying aircraft. These capabilities has prevented the US Armed Forces to retire the U-2 Spy Plane. It had postponed the plan of replacing it with Global Hawks until 2020.
Filed under: News, USAF | Tagged: drone model planes, drones, Global Hawk, Global Hawk drones, Global Hawk model plane, Global Hawk spy plane, North Korea, spy plane, Spy plane models, U-2, U-2 Dragonlady, U-2 Dragonlady model planes, U-2 spy plane, unmanned drones, US Air Force | Leave a Comment »
Posted on February 15, 2012 by modelworks
From a meager 50 units of combat drones before the war on terror, the US military now has a fleet 7,500 robotic aircraft in its arsenal. With the war on Iraq and Afghanistan finally coming to a close, these robotic aircraft need to come, but Federal Aviation Administraion guidelines are hindering them.
The FAA does not permit robotic aircraft in US national airspace without a special permit. Remotely piloted aircraft do not have enough “detect, sense and avoid” technology to prevent mid-air collisions. Nevertheless, the FAA give way to some exceptions. It issued 313 certificates last year. Special certificates were given to Unarmed Predator drones that patrol the national border.
Just last week, congress have directed the FAA to plan how the military drones can be integrated into the national airspace in a wide scale by 2015. The military plans to use its drones for training and retraining of the pilots that remotely flies them. They also plan to station the robotic aircraft in different bases throughout the country.
The military is also confident that its fleet of robotic aircraft will find new roles to perform in the mainland. They can be very useful in emergencies. Drones can help firefighters locate hotspots during wildfires and even burst out water when needed. During the tsunami in Japan and earthquake in Haiti; the jet-powered, high-flying RQ-4 Global Hawk made by Northrop Grumman Corp. provided aerial coverage of catastrophe. Law enforcement and the private sector are also looking into the possibility of using the smaller drone airplanes for aerial surveillance. The FAA is aiming to release a proposal for small drones this spring.
Filed under: News, USAF | Tagged: airplane model, drone airplanes, drone model airplane, drones, FAA, Global Hawk, Global Hawk drone, Global Hawk model plane, Northrop Grumman, Northrop Grumman airplane model, Pentagon, robotic aircraft, robotic airplane model, RQ-4 Global Hawk, RQ-4 plane, U.S. drone | Leave a Comment »