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Dragon Lady: The U-2 and Early Cold War Reconnaissance

For more than 50 years, Lockheed Martin's U-2 has played a vital role in American strategic intelligence. The unique high-flying reconnaissance jet was designed early in the Cold War to overfly and photograph military activities in the Soviet Union and other communist nations. The U-2, nicknamed "Dragon Lady" after a comic strip character of the 1930s, has been used by the U.S. Air Force, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Click on the following links to learn more about the U-2 and early Cold War reconnaissance.

Origins of the U-2
U-2 Mission
The Powers Incident
Cuban Missile Crisis
U-2s Around the World in the Cold War
Flying the U-2
Old Design, Young Airplane
David Clark S-1010A Full-Pressure Flying Suit
David Clark MC-3 Partial Pressure Flying Suit
U-2 Pilot's Party Suit
Shapes and Patterns: The Photo Interpreter's Evidence
Powerful New Cameras for the U-2
U-2 Aircraft Carrier Tail Hook and "Q-tip"

Click here to return to the Cold War Gallery.


Find Out More
Related Fact Sheets
Lockheed U-2A