Wondering about wild grapes

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Couple of U.S. Spy Planes.

Aerial reconnaissance has been going on for many years.  It has been carried out by many methods, from balloons and kites to planes and satellites.  There are a lot of interesting stories about all of them, but today, I am just going to talk about a couple of planes that have been used in the past and are still being used today when a closer look is needed.

The old standard is the Piper Cub.  It is prime example of a STOL type aircraft for sure and I have flown quite a few times in one and they are a lot of fun, for sure.  They are used by the military for recon and to give coordinates to fighters or artillery.   In case you are wondering what STOL means I will tell you.  It means Short Take Off and Landing.

One of the very high flying planes that were used for gathering information and pictures of places that do not allow unauthorized over flights is the U2.  Their ability to fly at such high altitudes keep them safe from fighter planes and conventional artillery.

The only problem was that some missiles were capable of reaching to the altitude that the U2 operates and Russia was able to shoot one down that was piloted by Gary Powers.  He was able to eject and floated down to the waiting arms of the Russian military where they made him their guest for awhile.  I remember that well.  I will have to look that up and see when that happened.

Now, the best, fastest, and highest flying spy plane of all is the SR-71 Blackbird.

It flies so fast (in excess of 3000 mph) that its titanium skin gets re-heat treated every time it flies.  They even made unmanned drones out of one of those engines.  The drone was nothing more than a motor with two short wings and a camera.

I wrote a similar blog in the past.  In case you missed it, here is a link to it:

OK, maybe I can get up off my chair and do some wonderful things that I can write about on tomorrow's blog. . . and maybe not.  Heck, it is comfy sitting and rocking in this chair.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?


  1. Hard to believe the SR-71 was designed and built some time ago. Makes me wonder what wonders they are flying now.

    1. I believe that it was put in service in the mid 1960's. So, it had to be in design stages long before that.

  2. I would say offhand that the U2 incident was during Kennedy's presidency, but I guess he had his hands full with the By of Pigs fiasco. Maybe Eisenhower, or even Johnson?

  3. The SR-71 Blackbird is my favorite airplane. I was lucky to be stationed near Kadena AFB in Okinawa during the Vietnam era. The Blackbird was stationed there and took off right over my house. We used to sit by the side of the runway and wave to the pilots as they taxied down the runway before take off. It was the thrill of a life time.

    1. Wow, yes that would be thrill. I have never seen one fly let alone take off.

  4. They probably just use satellites now days.. We have come a long way, my friend!