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Dragon Lady—60 years later and as exotically captivating as ever

27 June 2018

 

 

Lockheed’s U-2S Dragon Lady (today’s U-2)—Lockheed image

The U-2S Dragon Lady is not the improved U-2 of the Cold War Era—she is an evolved aircraft with a 30% larger airframe, a vastly improved engine (GE F118), a glass cockpit with an avionics and sensor suite almost beyond imagination. The long nose houses synthetic aperture radar and the dorsal pod allows an uplink for the dense data stream produced by the Dragon Lady’s sensors. All at 70,000 feet enabling discrete though deep looks into foreign territory without trespassing potentially hostile airspace.

 

Lockheed’s U-2S Dragon Lady (today’s U-2) showing the wing mounted sensor pods and the dorsal communications/uplink pod—Lockheed image

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