What is involved in operating the NASA ER-2 at very high altitude? Mark Broadbent speaks with a pilot to find out
“You see airliners way below you, making contrails.” So said Greg ‘Coach’ Nelson, former United States Air Force (USAF) Lockheed U-2 pilot turned research pilot with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Armstrong Flight Research Center. He has an incredible view from 60,000 to 70,000ft when flying the equally incredible ER-2 High-Altitude Airborne Science platform.
“On Earth, you look up at airliners making contrails and you can barely see the aeroplane,” Nelson told Aviation News. “It’s kind of the same thing – you look down and barely see the aeroplane that’s making the contrail.