Lockheed U-2

U-2U-2 spy planeTR-1U-2 Dragon LadyU2ER-2U-2 spy planesLockheed TR-1Lockheed U-2/TR-1 Dragon LadyNASA ER-2
The Lockheed U-2, nicknamed "Dragon Lady", is an American single-jet engine, ultra-high altitude reconnaissance aircraft operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) and previously flown by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).wikipedia
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1960 U-2 incident

U-2 incidentshot downU-2 Crisis
In 1960, Gary Powers was shot down in a CIA U-2A over the Soviet Union by a surface-to-air missile (SAM).
On 1 May 1960, a United States U-2 spy plane was shot down by the Soviet Air Defence Forces while performing photographic aerial reconnaissance deep into Soviet territory.

Francis Gary Powers

Gary PowersFrancis Powersits pilot
In 1960, Gary Powers was shot down in a CIA U-2A over the Soviet Union by a surface-to-air missile (SAM).
Francis Gary Powers (August 17, 1929 – August 1, 1977)—often referred to as simply Gary Powers—was an American pilot whose Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) U-2 spy plane was shot down while flying a reconnaissance mission in Soviet Union airspace, causing the 1960 U-2 incident.

Central Intelligence Agency

CIAC.I.A.Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
The Lockheed U-2, nicknamed "Dragon Lady", is an American single-jet engine, ultra-high altitude reconnaissance aircraft operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) and previously flown by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Civilian officials including Trevor Gardner, an aide to Secretary of the Air Force Harold E. Talbott, were more positive about the CL-282 because of its higher potential altitude and smaller radar cross section, and recommended the design to the Central Intelligence Agency's Office of Scientific Intelligence.
For example, the development of the U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft was done in cooperation with the United States Air Force.

Cuban Missile Crisis

missile crisisCuban Quarantine1962 Cuban Missile Crisis
Major Rudolf Anderson Jr. was shot down in another U-2 during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
The missile preparations were confirmed when an Air Force U-2 spy plane produced clear photographic evidence of medium-range (SS-4) and intermediate-range (R-14) ballistic missile facilities.

Rudolf Anderson

Rudolf Anderson Jr.killing the pilotMajor Rudolf Anderson
Major Rudolf Anderson Jr. was shot down in another U-2 during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
The only person killed by enemy fire during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Anderson died when his U-2 spy aircraft was shot down over Cuba.

Martin RB-57D Canberra

RB-57DMartin B-57RB-57D Canberra
The highest-flying aircraft available to America and its allies at the time was the English Electric Canberra, which could reach 48000 ft. The British had already produced the PR3 photo-reconnaissance variant, but the USAF asked for English Electric's help to further modify the Martin B-57 (the American licensed version of the Canberra) with long, narrow wings, new engines, and a lighter-than-normal airframe to reach 67000 ft. Air Research and Development Command mandated design changes that made the aircraft more durable for combat, but the resulting RB-57D aircraft of 1955 could only reach 64000 ft. The Soviet Union, unlike the United States and Britain, had improved radar technology after the war, and could track aircraft above 65000 ft.
It was used by the United States Air Force during the 1950s prior to operational use of the Lockheed U-2.

Skunk Works

Lockheed Skunk WorksAdvanced Development ProgramsCL: Lockheed
He was also known for completing projects ahead of schedule, working in a separate division of the company, informally called the Skunk Works.
Skunk Works is an official pseudonym for Lockheed Martin's Advanced Development Programs (ADP), formerly called Lockheed Advanced Development Projects. It is responsible for a number of aircraft designs, including the U-2, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk, Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, and the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, which are used in the air forces of several countries.

United States aerial reconnaissance of the Soviet Union

overflightsreconnaissance missionsSoviet territory for the purpose of aerial reconnaissance
Into the 1950s, the best intelligence the American government had on facilities deep inside the Soviet Union were German Luftwaffe photographs taken during the war of territory west of the Ural Mountains, so overflights to take aerial photographs of the Soviet Union began.
Aircraft used included the Boeing B-47 Stratojet bomber and—from 1956—the Lockheed U-2 spy plane specifically designed for high-altitude reconnaissance flight.

Richard M. Bissell Jr.

Richard BissellDick BissellBissell
Edwin Land, the developer of instant photography, and another member of the panel proposed to Dulles through Dulles' aide, Richard M. Bissell Jr., that his agency should fund and operate this aircraft.
Richard Mervin Bissell Jr. (September 18, 1909 – February 7, 1994) was a Central Intelligence Agency officer responsible for major projects such as the U-2 spy plane and the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

Allen Dulles

AllenAllen W. DullesDulles
At that time, the CIA depended on the military for overflights, and Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles favored human over technical intelligence gathering methods.
As head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during the early Cold War, he oversaw the 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état, Operation Ajax, the Lockheed U-2 aircraft program and the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk

RQ-4 Global HawkGlobal HawkRQ-4
In August 2015, the 60th anniversary of the U-2 program, Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works revealed they were internally developing a successor to the U-2, referred to as the UQ-2 or RQ-X, combining features from both the manned U-2 and unmanned Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk and improving upon them.
The Global Hawk performs duties similar to that of the Lockheed U-2.

Joseph F. Ware Jr.

Joseph F. Ware, JrJoseph F. Ware, Jr.
The Flight Test Engineer in charge was Joseph F. Ware Jr.
Joseph Fulton "Joe" Ware Jr. (November 8, 1916 – April 23, 2012) was a flight test engineer at Clarence "Kelly" Johnson's famed Skunk Works in the Lockheed Corporation on the first two Air Force One's, the U-2, the SR-71 Blackbird, and many others from World War II and the Cold War, becoming Department Manager of Engineering Flight Test.

Air Force Systems Command

Air Research and Development CommandAFSCARDC
The highest-flying aircraft available to America and its allies at the time was the English Electric Canberra, which could reach 48000 ft. The British had already produced the PR3 photo-reconnaissance variant, but the USAF asked for English Electric's help to further modify the Martin B-57 (the American licensed version of the Canberra) with long, narrow wings, new engines, and a lighter-than-normal airframe to reach 67000 ft. Air Research and Development Command mandated design changes that made the aircraft more durable for combat, but the resulting RB-57D aircraft of 1955 could only reach 64000 ft. The Soviet Union, unlike the United States and Britain, had improved radar technology after the war, and could track aircraft above 65000 ft.
Among the successes of this period were the North American F-86 Sabre swept wing fighter, the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress intercontinental bomber, the Lockheed C-130 Hercules turboprop transport and the Lockheed U-2 very high-altitude strategic reconnaissance aircraft.

Area 51

Groom LakeArea 52Groom Lake Field
The aircraft was renamed the U-2 in July 1955, the same month the first aircraft, Article 341, was delivered to Groom Lake.
The site was acquired by the United States Air Force in 1955, primarily for the flight testing of the Lockheed U-2 aircraft.

Trevor Gardner

Gardner, Trevor
Civilian officials including Trevor Gardner, an aide to Secretary of the Air Force Harold E. Talbott, were more positive about the CL-282 because of its higher potential altitude and smaller radar cross section, and recommended the design to the Central Intelligence Agency's Office of Scientific Intelligence.
Together with Bernard Schriever, the Air Staff's Assistant for Development Planning, Gardner was one of the prime movers of the U.S. ICBM program and was also involved in the U-2 program.

Lockheed A-12

A-12M-21A-12 ''Oxcart
This effort ultimately proved unsuccessful, and work began on a follow-on aircraft, which resulted in the Lockheed A-12 Oxcart.
Convair's work on the B-58 had been plagued with delays and cost overruns, whereas Lockheed had produced the U-2 on time and under budget.

Project RAINBOW

RAINBOW
When the first overflights of the Soviet Union were tracked by radar, the CIA initiated Project Rainbow to reduce the U-2's radar cross-section.
Project RAINBOW was the name given by the CIA to a research project aimed at reducing the radar cross-section of the Lockheed U-2 and lowering the chance that it would be detected and tracked by Soviet radars during its overflights of the USSR.

English Electric Canberra

CanberraCanberrasCanberra bombers
The highest-flying aircraft available to America and its allies at the time was the English Electric Canberra, which could reach 48000 ft. The British had already produced the PR3 photo-reconnaissance variant, but the USAF asked for English Electric's help to further modify the Martin B-57 (the American licensed version of the Canberra) with long, narrow wings, new engines, and a lighter-than-normal airframe to reach 67000 ft. Air Research and Development Command mandated design changes that made the aircraft more durable for combat, but the resulting RB-57D aircraft of 1955 could only reach 64000 ft. The Soviet Union, unlike the United States and Britain, had improved radar technology after the war, and could track aircraft above 65000 ft.
The aircraft were no longer required after June 1956, following the introduction of the US Lockheed U-2 purpose-built reconnaissance aircraft; Project Robin was then terminated.

Martin B-57 Canberra

B-57B-57 CanberraWB-57F
The highest-flying aircraft available to America and its allies at the time was the English Electric Canberra, which could reach 48000 ft. The British had already produced the PR3 photo-reconnaissance variant, but the USAF asked for English Electric's help to further modify the Martin B-57 (the American licensed version of the Canberra) with long, narrow wings, new engines, and a lighter-than-normal airframe to reach 67000 ft. Air Research and Development Command mandated design changes that made the aircraft more durable for combat, but the resulting RB-57D aircraft of 1955 could only reach 64000 ft. The Soviet Union, unlike the United States and Britain, had improved radar technology after the war, and could track aircraft above 65000 ft.
The aircraft were retired due to structural fatigue and the advent of the U-2 and SR-71.

JPTS

The U-2 has used Jet Propellant Thermally Stable (JPTS) since the aircraft's development in the 1950s.
JPTS stands for Jet Propellant Thermally Stable (high thermal stability, high altitude fuel), and was created specifically as fuel for the Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance aircraft.

Edwin H. Land

Edwin LandDr. Edwin LandEdwin Herbert Land
Edwin Land, the developer of instant photography, and another member of the panel proposed to Dulles through Dulles' aide, Richard M. Bissell Jr., that his agency should fund and operate this aircraft.
Projects included the Genetrix balloon borne cameras, the U-2 program, Corona and Samos photographic satellites, and the Manned Orbiting Laboratory.

ASARS-2

Imagery intelligence sensors include either wet film photography, electro-optic, or radar imagery–the latter from the Raytheon ASARS-2 system.
ASARS-2 is the Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar System carried on some variants of the Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance aircraft.

Aerial reconnaissance

reconnaissancephoto-reconnaissanceair reconnaissance
After World War II, the U.S. military desired better strategic aerial reconnaissance to help determine Soviet capabilities and intentions.
It was designed by Felix Kracht at the Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Segelflug (German Institute for Sailplane Flight) and in concept is an interesting precursor to the post-war American U-2, being essentially a powered long-wingspan glider intended solely for the high-altitude aerial reconnaissance role.

Reconnaissance aircraft

reconnaissancereconnaissance planereconnaissance planes
The Lockheed U-2, nicknamed "Dragon Lady", is an American single-jet engine, ultra-high altitude reconnaissance aircraft operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) and previously flown by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
After World War II and during the Cold War the United States developed several dedicated reconnaissance aircraft designs, including the U-2 and SR-71, to monitor the nuclear threat from the Soviet Union.

Space suit

spacesuitspace suitsspacesuits
Because of the high operating altitude and the cockpit's partial pressurization, equivalent to 28000 ft pressure altitude, the pilot wears a partially pressurized space suit, which delivers the pilot's oxygen supply and provides emergency protection in case cabin pressure is lost.
Related preceding technologies include the gas mask used in World War II, the oxygen mask used by pilots of high flying bombers in World War II, the high altitude or vacuum suit required by pilots of the Lockheed U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird, the diving suit, rebreather, scuba diving gear, and many others.