Initial R-17 designation for second U-2A production batch

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Message posted by Vahe Demirjian (Member since 04/28/2022) on October 18, 2023 at 9:40:47 PST:

On page 34 of Peter Merlin's new book about Area 51, it is mentioned that the US Air Force initially planned to assign the designation R-17 to the second U-2As batch (56-6700/6722, 56-6950/6955). This is surprising because the previous R-for-Reconnaissance design number to be assigned was XR-16 (not to be confused with the Bell X-16 reconnaissance aircraft), which was allocated in 1948 to a proposed reconnaissance aircraft that ended up being canceled that year. In the end, the aircraft with serials 56-6700/6722 and 56-6950/6955 retained the U-2 designation.

Is there a PDF of the December 1956 memo to Richard Bissell from USAF Brigadier General Maurice A. Preston regarding the original scheme to assign R-17 to the U-2As with serials 56-6700/6722 and 56-6950/6955 which I can access?

Attached link: XR-16 reconnaissance aircraft


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