LAUGHLIN'S U-2s FLY 6,048 MISSIONS IN 3-YEAR PERIOD
Laughlin's U-2 aircraft of the 4028th SRS flew a total of 6,048 missions in the three year period ending last May , Dr. [Capt.] Robert J. Bruneau announced during the recent Aerospace Medical Association meeting in Chicago. The MC-3A partial pressure suit, he said, functioned normally on all 271 cabin decompressions experienced by U-2 pilots during the three year period. Summary of aeromedical experience in the SAC U-2 weather research program given by Dr. Bruneau covers 2,402 flights above 60,000 feet for periods greater than four and a half hours. There were 1,566 personal equipment problems during the period, 64 of which caused mission aborts. Majority of the problems, he said, were traced to excessive oxygen loss, suspected malfunctions in the seat kit, and face-plate fogging in the MA-2 helmet. Medical problems numbered 104 during the period, causing 49 mission aborts of which five were aborted after takeoff. Pilots experienced 17 cases of joint and abdominal pain which caused aborted missions. Dr. Bruneau said U-2 pilots spend the day before each flight in mission planning and 90 minutes before takeoff have pulse, temperature and weight recorded. Average weight loss for a long mission is four to six pounds. Pilots begin dressing 45 minutes before takeoff, and breathe 100 percent oxygen for 35-40 minutes before going to their aircraft.
Sources: LHF Archives Laughlin Recon, Vol. III, No.19, Friday, May 12, 1961