The U-2 is a very unique aircraft. First flown in August 1955, it is a single engine jet that is designed to fly at altitudes of 70,000 feet.

Basically, the U-2 spy plane is a powered glider and does not have a traditional tricycle style landing gear. Instead, the surveillance aircraft utilizes a bicycle configuration with two sets of wheels, one in front of the other. This setup can make for some very interesting landings for Dragon Lady pilots!

u-2 landing gear

U.S. Air Force airmen push down on the wing of a U-2 Dragon Lady after its landing at RAF Fairford, United Kingdom, June 9, 2015. Following a U-2’s landing, teams work to reattach landing gear designed to stabilize the wings. Photo by U.S. Air Force, Staff Sgt. Jarad A. Denton

The U-2 is still in service with the US Air Force and was previously flown by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

 

Featured image by US Air Force

If you enjoyed this article, please consider supporting our Veteran Editorial by becoming a SOFREP subscriber. Click here to get 3 months of full ad-free access for only $1 $29.97.