Operation Overflight: The U-2 Spy Pilot Tells His Story for the First Time by Francis Gary PowersIn this new edition of his classic 1970 memoir about the notorious U-2 incident, pilot Francis Gary Powers reveals the full story of what actually happened in the most sensational espionage case in Cold War history. After surviving the shoot-down of his reconnaissance plane and his capture on May 1, 1960, Powers endured sixty-one days of rigorous interrogation by the KGB, a public trial, a conviction for espionage, and the start of a ten-year sentence. After nearly two years, the U.S. government obtained his release from prison in a dramatic exchange for convicted Soviet spy Rudolph Abel. The narrative is a tremendously exciting suspense story about a man who was labeled a traitor by many of his countrymen but who emerged a Cold War hero.
Killer at 70,000 Feet
When an Air Force major called J. Those three pilots are in distinguished company, two fellow pilots said this month. Read more : The Air Force is changing the way it recruits U-2 pilots — here's what it's like to fly the US's oldest working spy plane. We're between about 60 and 70 active-duty pilots at any given time," Maj. So to put that in context, there are more people with Super Bowl rings than there are people with U-2 patches," Nauman added.
By 1st Lt.
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Lockheed Corporation originally proposed it in , it was approved in , and its first test flight was in Major Rudolf Anderson Jr. The U-2 has also been used for electronic sensor research, satellite calibration, scientific research, and communications purposes. Into the s, the best intelligence the American government had on facilities deep inside the Soviet Union were German Luftwaffe photographs taken during the war of territory west of the Ural Mountains , so overflights to take aerial photographs of the Soviet Union began. After , Soviet air defenses aggressively attacked all aircraft near the country's borders—sometimes even those over Japanese airspace—and existing reconnaissance aircraft, primarily bombers converted for reconnaissance duty such as the Boeing RB , were vulnerable to anti-aircraft artillery, missiles, and fighters. The U. The USAF decided to solicit designs only from smaller aircraft companies that could give the project more attention.
Air Force reconnaissance experts have enlisted Stanford University engineering and business students to develop advanced computer programs to analyze the old-style Kodak film currently used by U-2s over Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea, Syria and other hot zones. If successful, computers would quickly scan miles of U-2 film and count cars, airplanes, motorcycles, buildings and even individual people, tasks now performed painstakingly by analysts using eye loupes and illuminated screens. Air Force Col. Airmen could spend less time searching and more time making sense of the things they see. The U-2 spy plane first became operational in under the aegis of the Central Intelligence Agency, and Air Force U-2 operations began the following year. In , U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers was shot down while taking photographs over the Soviet Union, sparking an international incident. In , U.