Taken on Oct. 30, 2019 at RAF Fairford, the video in this post features Lockheed U-2’s Landing Procedure.
Interesting to see, as the Dragon Lady comes down to land, rolling slowly to a halt, one wing flops to the ground, then the truck with the pogo wheels comes along and fits them in for the aircraft to taxi on round to its apron position on the airbase.
At the time USAF officials said the deployment was part of scheduled “crash and disaster” training going on in the region. What exactly was the spy plane’s role in the planned emergency disaster training is still unknown.
The mission of the U-2 is to provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities in order to meet combatant commander objectives.
The initial designs for what would become the U-2 were created by Lockheed engineering guru Clarence “Kelly” Johnson in 1953.
The company delivered the first U-2 for a test flight on Jul. 29, 1955.
Initially projected to have an operational life of just two years, the U-2 would go on to see service in every subsequent American war, while showing remarkable versatility as a non-military aircraft.
When equipped with a wide variety of sensors, the U-2 has morphed into everything from a high-tech NASA platform for conducting physics experiments to a high-altitude tool for tracking the migration of destructive spruce bark beetles through the forests of Alaska.
Today, U-2s are used as aerial eavesdropping devices; U-2s survey dirt patterns for signs of makeshift mines and IEDs over Iraq and Afghanistan, making these dynamic high-flyers as effective today as they were nearly 60 years ago.
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