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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • AUSTRALIA: GREAT BARRIER CORAL REEF

Spy Plane: 1961

Spy Plane: 1961

Edwards Air Force Base, California, open house in May 1961. Woodrow stands in front of a Lockheed U-2D, (Serial # 56-6954), a two-seat version of the U-2 spy plane. 35mm Kodachrome slide. View full size.

The Not-So Secret Spy Plane

Just a guess, but the easy access to this plane may be explained by the fact that the U.S. had nothing to lose from this technology. Gary Power's U2 was shot down May 1, 1960. By the time this image was taken, the Russians had a full year to sort out the wreckage. This presumably compromised most if not all of the secret worth of the U2 as configured at that time.

A spy plane being so open to civilians

Look at the guys under the wing examining it. I remember seeing the SR-71 in later years(1980s) on static display, with military guards keeping spectators from getting too close.

I can't imagine our country was less security-minded at the height of the cold war!

U-2 fate

From Joe Baugher's site:

6954 (Article 394, 100 SRW, 100 OMS) crashed May 31, 1968 29 nm ENE of Davis Monthan AFB, AZ when suffered uncontrolled pitch-up during high altitude training flight. Pilot was unable to correct the nose-up attitude and ejected at 41,000 feet. Pilot became entangled in parachute shroud lines and was seriously injured upon landing. Aicraft spun in and impacted in desert nearly intact. W/o and used for spare parts.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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