Aircraft History

The Lockheed U-2 was designed specifically for high altitude electronic and photo-reconnaissance missions during the cold war. In the years before satellites took over this role, this type of intelligence gathering was performed largely with manned aircraft. Improvements in the USSR's air defence led to the design of the U-2 as a spy-plane to fly at extreme altitude for protection. The first U-2 flew in August 1955. The 'U' stood for 'Utility' to disguise its true role.

Lockheed built 48 U-2A, B & C models along with five two-seat U-2D models which were flown by the USAF and CIA. The U-2 first came to public attention when Francis Gary Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union and captured in 1960. The design was developed further in the 1960s and the U-2 remained operational with the USAF and NASA. The USAF also operated U-2 aircraft in Australia during the 1960s. Some of these aircraft were flown from East Sale and Laverton RAAF Bases in Victoria.

Model History

This 1:32 scale model of a Lockheed U-2 was commissioned by the Museum and built by Mr R.D. Ramsay in 1962.

More Information