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Lockheed ER-2

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Afer approaching Reno Stead Airport quietly (and unnoticed by many in the area immediately around me), this Beale AFB-based Lockheed Martin U-2S "Dragon Lady" (9th Reconnaissance Wing) came over KRTS during the 2017 Reno Air Races event and then pointed her nose toward the heavens and, captured here as it rockets upward, disappeared into the pure blue sky.

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Gary Schenauer Photo Uploader
The PA system was difficult to hear but as we were walking in the pits area I thought I heard the announcer comment about a top secret "visitor" making a "brief appearance" in the next few moments. To me, that meant a fly-by so we hurried to a location adjacent to the north staging area. We got there just in time to see this Dragon Lady coming in low from the south. As she passed the grandstand she rotated skyward and went up like a dark thin rocket. And then she was gone. A lady standing nearby said, "It's gone. It just disappeared. I can't see it." The man next to her replied, "That's the idea." (grin)
cliff731
Well stated, Gary... and a phenomenal photo capture too!

Thanks for sharing this one and the "back story" on it also!

A Kelly Johnson and "Skunk Works" masterpiece.
usaf12367
Really cool and nice story

i instantly reconize do this beautiful plane
sam kuminecz
Phenomenal photo gary!
Leon Kay
Story behind the story of Gary.
This aircraft looks similar to the one piloted by Gary Powers in 1960 that was shot down over the Soviet Union. CIA pilot Gary Powers' U-2 spy plane was shot down while flying an espionage mission in Soviet Union airspace sparking open conflict between the USSR.
While flying at its extreme operating altitude it avoided several attempts of interception by MiG-19 and Su-9 fighters to reach it. The Russians fired a missile salvo of which one destroyed one of their own Soviet MiG-19 fighters, killing the pilot. When one missile hit the U-2 Powers bailed out but was captured soon after landing. Although Powers was sentenced for 10 years imprisonment he was released after two years during a prisoner exchange for a Soviet officer.
At this time, in the middle of the Cold war years, Soviet and American relations worsened considerably.
bayou
Where ever it went, it 'slipped in and out!
Now where is that Area 51??? Skunk Works???
It never 'smelled'!
roland pfeifer
UP Up & Away
Cid Silveira
Leon, that's the story on the movie "Bridge of Spies" with Tom Hanks.
john cook
I was camping at pylon 6 when I saw her the first day with wing tanks.
Also saw her the second day [This pic] without the tanks, I never seen one so low.
Just another part of the best year I've ever had at The Reno Air Races, that Gold unlimited Race Was one for the ages!
Sorry Strevo But WOW what a race.
Can't wait for next year.
sam kuminecz
Gary unfortunately I couldn't make it this year but I'm glad voodoo is retiring tho
RJ Webber
My first sighting of a U2 was at Akrotiri Cyprus in 1974 just prior to the Turkish invasion.. Noisy when taking off and incredable rate of climb. Oh to ride in one!
Tom Vance
10+. the sound of these jets is amazing. I can hear it now screaming skyward...