How the Air Force’s ghostly U-2 surveillance plane got it’s nickname

12655710274 48f5c61eb0 k How the Air Forces ghostly U 2 surveillance plane got its nickname

The U-2 aka “dragon lady” is a high-altitude reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft used to collect imagery intelligence and detect nuclear and chemical signatures.

The U-2 flies at a breathtaking 70,000 feet and as such, its pilots are required to wear a full pressure suit in order to survive.

What’s more, the spy plane is difficult for even experienced pilots to operate due to its lightweight glider-like airframe coupled with high altitude flight.

Thus, the U-2 has been affectionately dubbed the “dragon lady,” according to the Air Force.

The plane is equipped with bicycle-type landing gear which requires a second U-2 pilot to chase the plane in a car while giving directions to the pilot via radio.

Here’s what landing the U-2 looks like:

 

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