CARE Completed

Posted 20 July 2013
Photo by A1C Bobby Cummings

The Cabin Altitude Reduction Effort, or CARE, modifications to the U-2 fleet were recently completed at Beale AFB, California. The CARE modifications included reinforcing airframe structure, replacing valves, and revised cockpit controls to allow for an increase of cockpit pressure, which reduces the strain on the pilot’s body that comes from flying above 70,000 feet and also reduces the chance for decompression sickness. A total of twenty-two U-2 airframes received the CARE modifications at Beale. Lockheed Martin maintenance crews worked ten-hour shifts for six days a week from September 2012 to June 2013. To complete the project, an additional five airframes received the upgrades at the Lockheed Martin facility in Palmdale, California. Each refit took approximately thirty days.