Aeroplane Monthly 1984-05
C.Pocock - Dragon Lady. The accident file (1)
U-2s had other uses besides surreptitious surveillance. U-2D 56-6722 was used to carry dummy recce satellite re-entry capsules to altitude for ejection and recovery practice by aircraft flying below. It was also used to seek out high altitude, clear air turbulence.
The CIA-operated U-2C carried "civilian" registrations during test flights after overhaul bv Lockheeds.
Tony LeVier became the first man to experience the capricious flying qualities of the U-2 when he took the prototype up for its first flight on August 1, 1955.
This is how U-2C 56-6700 ended up after crashing into the woods near Winterberg, West Germany, in May 1975. The aircraft was one of five based at Wethersfield, England, at the time for testing of the Airborne Location and Strike System (ALSS).
Lockheed U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance aeroplanes have been quietly watching the world for nearly 30 years. They have earned the nicknames “Dragon Lady" and “Black Angel" for being difficult to fly, and when they make unplanned landings - or are shot down - in unfriendly territory, they attract a blaze of publicity and scandal. The remains are often exposed to the world - like the U-2C shown here which was shot down by China in January 1965 and has been on display in Peking ever since.