- By Gerald McIlmoyle Linda Rios Bromley

Remembering the Dragon Lady: Memoirs of the Men Who Experienced the Legend of the U-2 Spy Plane

  • Title: Remembering the Dragon Lady: Memoirs of the Men Who Experienced the Legend of the U-2 Spy Plane
  • Author: Gerald McIlmoyle Linda Rios Bromley
  • ISBN: 9781907677205
  • Page: 177
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Remembering the Dragon Lady Memoirs of the Men Who Experienced the Legend of the U Spy Plane With heightened tensions mounting in the Cold War President Dwight Eisenhower s request for accurate intelligence information on the Soviet Union was the spark that ignited the U project Modified U

    With heightened tensions mounting in the Cold War, President Dwight Eisenhower s request for accurate intelligence information on the Soviet Union was the spark that ignited the U 2 project Modified USAF bombers began overflights of the Soviet Union in 1951, but existing lower flying aircraft in the US inventory were vulnerable to anti aircraft fire and a number of cWith heightened tensions mounting in the Cold War, President Dwight Eisenhower s request for accurate intelligence information on the Soviet Union was the spark that ignited the U 2 project Modified USAF bombers began overflights of the Soviet Union in 1951, but existing lower flying aircraft in the US inventory were vulnerable to anti aircraft fire and a number of cross border flights were shot down To meet the challenge and improve the survivability, the Lockheed Corporation received approval for their revolutionary design of a new recon aircraft on December 9, 1954 The company began work under a heavy veil of secrecy with only 81 people, including 25 engineers A test pilot flew the first flight on August 1, 1955, after only eight months of production, a record breaking result for rollout of a new project, especially one this complex and innovative A dedicated and inventive group of contractors came together to support the project with partial pressure suits for pilots, high resolution cameras, and an engine that could carry the aircraft to altitudes of 70,000 feet and higher Nicknamed the Dragon Lady, the U 2 has flown over Cuba, Alaska, North and South poles, Vietnam, Australia, Sweden, New Zealand, and Afghanistan The U 2 is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago More recently it flew over the hurricane ravaged US Gulf Coast to collect imagery of the destruction over a 90,000 square mile area First person memoirs of many of the men who supported the early US spy plane project are included in this book They include pilots, maintenance specialists, a flight surgeon, photographic specialists and some family members The US also trained U 2 pilots from Taiwan and the UK and some of their photos and memoirs are in this collection An example of the entries in the book include one pilot s experience on a flight over the North Pole when he discovered his instrumentation was inaccurate due to the magnetic fields and realized almost too late that he was flying directly toward the Soviet Union Maintenance technicians recalled working long hours to prepare aircraft for historic flights over Cuba Photographic specialists remembered the difficult conditions in Vietnam, and the care required to download the exposed film of North Vietnamese targets from the cameras in the aircraft All of these experiences were achieved under Top Secret security conditions and on a need to know basis Remembering the Dragon Lady presents the reader with an impressive collection of U 2 first person recollections.

    1 thought on “Remembering the Dragon Lady: Memoirs of the Men Who Experienced the Legend of the U-2 Spy Plane

    1. Many tales from pilots, maintenance crew, support personnel, etc. that paint an interesting and detailed picture of the Dragon Lady. Included are first-hand details from specific missions, such as missions during the Cuban Missile Crisis, flights over the Soviet Union, Vietnam, and the North Pole as well as the hazards, close calls and crashes involving the U2. Although there are many specifics of the plane itself, if you are looking for a detailed manual about the U2 then this is probably not i [...]

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