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