Friday, June 16, 2017

Introduction to NASA's ER-2 "high altitude" aircraft

GOES-16 began an eleven week period of field testing to calibrate the GOES-16 instruments on March 22nd. I will be posting an article about the GOES-16 field testing campaign on June 19th. Portions of the field campaign will involve one of two NASA ER2 high altitude aircraft. So, today I will introduce NASA’s ER2 aircraft.

These aircraft are flying laboratories, each having four pressurized laboratory modules. Examples of experiments include research on ozone depletion, development of tropical cyclones, and assisting in the development and testing of satellite instruments. For more information on the ER-2, see this factsheet from NASA on the ER-2.
The ER-2 is a versatile aircraft well suited to perform multiple mission tasks. The ER-2 operates at altitudes from 20,000 feet to 70,000 feet, which is above 99 percent of the Earth's atmosphere. Depending on aircraft weight, the ER-2 reaches an initial cruise altitude of 65,000 feet within 20 minutes. Typical cruise speed is 410 knots. The range for a normal eight-hour mission is 3,000 nautical miles yielding seven hours of data collection at altitude. The aircraft is capable of longer missions in excess of 10 hours and ranges in excess of 6,000 nautical miles. The ER-2 can carry a maximum payload of 2,600 lb (1,179 kilograms) distributed in the equipment bay, nose area, and wing pods. (

Here are some videos about the ER-2.

Airshow video

Direct link to video


Direct link to video

Take-off (no sound)

Direct link to video

No comments: