At what altitude do spy planes fly?

The Dragon Lady has an initial climb rate of 15,000ft/min to around 25,000ft and then uses a lower climb rate to achieve an altitude of 70,000ft. A typical reconnaissance mission might take six and a half hours and the aircraft’s range is over 3,000 miles.

How high can a U-2 spy plane fly?

The U-2’s 63ft-long (19m) thin fuselage, two high-aspect, un-swept glider-like wings, and powerful engine are designed to rocket the plane higher than 70,000ft (21km) – and, crucially, keep it there.

How does the U-2 spy plane fly so high?

Flying High

The U-2 has demonstrated that the sweet spot for an ISR platform is 70,000 feet, and today’s U-2 engine, an F118 GE 101, gets the U-2 there. This—combined with long, slender glider-like wings—enables the aircraft to fly at such high altitudes.

What layer of the atmosphere do high flying spy planes fly?

The troposphere is the lowest level of Earth’s atmosphere. Above it, however, is the stratosphere, followed by the stratopause and then the mesosphere. Commercial jets can certainly fly above or below the troposphere, but this layer of the atmosphere offers ideal flying conditions for several reasons.

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Do planes fly at 70000 feet?

Most commercial aircraft are approved to fly at a maximum of around 42,000 feet.

How high can the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird Fly?

Today in 1976, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird broke the world’s record for sustained altitude in horizontal flight at 25,929 meters (85,069 feet). The same day another SR-71 set an absolute speed record of 3,529.6 kilometers per hour (2,193.2 miles per hour), approximately Mach 3.3.

How fast is a SR-71 Blackbird?

It reached an absolute maximum altitude of 37,650 metres (123,520 feet) in 1977, and set a time to height record of 35,000 metres (115,000 feet) in 4 minutes, 11.78 seconds, both of which were set by the famous MiG test pilot Alexander Fedotov.

What is the max altitude of a U-2?

It provides day and night, high-altitude (70,000 feet, 21,300 meters), all-weather intelligence gathering. Lockheed Corporation originally proposed it in 1953, it was approved in 1954, and its first test flight was in 1955.

Is the SR-71 still in service?

The SR-71 Blackbird was retired by the USAF in 1998, leaving what was considered a coverage gap between surveillance satellites, manned aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and strike missions.

Why do airplanes not fly in the troposphere?

The layer that exists between the troposphere and the stratosphere is termed as the tropopause. Also, large passenger planes cannot fly at higher levels because the air is too thin above that and the oxygen level decreases.

What can fly in the troposphere?

Helicopters and light aircraft typically fly in the troposphere. Light aircrafts are unable to operate at higher altitudes because they lack pressurized cabins. Therefore, they stay within a range of about 10,000 feet.

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What is the highest flying plane?

Answer: The highest commercial airliner altitude was 60,000 feet by Concorde. The highest military air-breathing engine airplane was the SR-71 — about 90,000 feet. The highest airliner flying today reaches 45,000 feet. The highest business jet flying today reaches 51,000 feet.

Why do pilots breathe pure oxygen?

The pressure in a U-2 cockpit at typical mission altitude is equivalent to the atmosphere at 29,000 feet—as high as the summit of Mt. Everest. To cope, U-2 pilots breathe pure oxygen for an hour before their flight and wear a kind of pressurized spacesuit. Pre-breathing oxygen helps purge nitrogen from their bodies.

What happens if a plane flies too high?

When the plane gets too high, there is insufficient oxygen to fuel the engines. “The air is less dense at altitude, so the engine can suck in less and less air per second as it goes higher and at some point the engine can no longer develop sufficient power to climb.” …

HOW HIGH CAN military jets fly?

Most military planes fly at around 50,000 feet and sometimes higher. Some rocket-powered planes can fly as high as 100,000 feet but they are specially designed for this purpose.