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U-2 Spy Plane pilot: U.S Air Force Colonel Lars Hoffman
Interview with Col. Lars Hoffman - 1:01:20
Lars Hoffman is the husband of Jill Rutan Hoffman who I interviewed in podcast #6, and he's an experienced U-2 pilot. Lars shares a lot of really interesting details on what it's like flying the U-2 at altitudes up to 70,000 feet. The challenges of flying that high for both the airplane and the human body are significant, and we talk about a lot of them. You might be surprised like I was at many of the very unique characteristics of the U-2... it's a pretty fascinating operation.
The video below is from the 'James May on the Moon' special that ran on the BBC and it really helps to show what the experience is like when flying so high above the earth. I highly recommend you watch the video first, and then enjoy this interview with Lars as he takes you even deeper into the world of the U-2.
We also talk some about the work of Burt Rutan, who is the uncle of Lars' wife Jill, on the space tourism project. This video from the AMA Expo 2010 is a really neat look at Burt's experience over the years with model aviation, and it includes some interesting insight into the design and function of the spacecraft he has been designing.
I hope you enjoy this really interesting podcast!