Mind boggling stuff:
"The G model was also a small airplane. That was the U-2C that was modified for carrier operations
. They put a little different camber on the leading edge of the wing, and put lift spoilers on it, and a tailhook of course."
"When the littler airplane got up to altitude, the margin between the climb speed and the critical Mach number and stall became very, very minor, and we were looking at plus or minus two-and-a-half knots at one particular point in the climb between the climb schedule and critical Mach and stall speed
so that’s very very small. When we got the bigger airplanes, we got up to plus or minus seven-and-a-half knots of margin."
"If you encountered buffet, the first thing you did was go faster. You’d assume it was stall buffet, and you wanted to go faster because if you guessed wrong and slowed down, then it would stall and quit flying altogether. It would flip over on its back, and that’s how we lost a lot of the airplanes. It stalled at altitude, it would head straight down, and the tail would snap off."
"I saw that the Q-bay hatch in the partially open position was blocking the landing gear. It wouldn’t let it go down. So that’s when the guys on the ground said I better get out. The Q-bay hatch was part of the structure and necessary to maintaining the structural integrity, so a belly landing would probably have been disastrous. But I said, well, we got a lot of fuel here, let’s see what we can do. So I got it down to 15,000, 12,000 feet, and put all the G on the airplane that was permissible and went as fast as I could, and got that Q-bay hatch to flutter. While it was fluttering and the airplane is shaking and bouncing around. But every time it would flutter a little bit open, the gear would go down a half an inch or so. Eventually, by continuing the maximum G and maximum speed, getting the bay hatch to flutter, the gear eventually cleared the hatch, and went down into the down and locked position."
"I have flown over 200 different types and models of airplanes and helicopters, and the U-2 was far and beyond the most difficult airplane to land I have ever tried."http://www.airspacemag.com/military-avi ... Pilot.html