Muscle car in the Air Force


Active member
:idea: An Air Force vet told me that muscle cars were used in the Air Force to facilitate the landing of 2 of the most mythic aircraft of the US inventory: the U2 and the SR71!

Basically, his recollections (stories :?: ) are as follow:

The U2 has an extra little wheel at the end of each of its long wings to support them at take off. The wheels are discarded once the airplane is in the air! Upon landing, 2 teams of catchers riding Ranchero type muscle pickup cars ride on the side of the airplane and guys standing in the bed of the trucks catch the tip of the wings to support them!!!
He told me he did it once at Mc Beale...

The SR71 is a tall plane and the pilot does not really see where he is going after landing. A muscle car equiped with radio supposedly wait for the plane to touch the ground and rush behind it on the runway, guiding it with the radio, back to the terminal.

Myth or reality? :?:

But what a job it could be! :lol:

I looked it up but could not find anything...any help available?
I know about the U2 story. But as I recall the "muscle car" was there (and still is btw) to get another pilot near the landing of the plane. Because the U2 drops his wing-wheels at take-off to save weight, it is kind of like an unstable, high speed bicycle when it lands. And because the landing has to be absolutely perfect, a car trails the plane on the runway, with a pilot on board who can tell the pilot on the U2 how he's doing. The U2 pilots usually fly ten hour missions, so it's no luxury.
I don't know about catching the wingtips. That sounds like a fairytale to me. But then again, those wings are really thin, and they use extra wheels on take-off. I’ll check and see what I can find out.

I don't know about the SR-71 being given a welcome like that, it doesn't need it, at least not for the same reasons the U2 does....