Here is my selection:
THE SENTINEL OF PEACE
This magnificent short video was produced for the Skunk Works to mark the 40th anniversary of the U-2 in 1995. It combines historic with contemporary footage. The extraordinary thing is, every word of the commentary is still valid today, 25 years later! Also of note, the pilot doing the walkaround at the start is Brandon King, who flew me in the two-seat U-2 trainer in 1995.
THE INQUISITIVE ANGEL
This vintage and very informative production was shot entirely at the U-2 test site in 1955-57 on 16mm film, by two employees of Hycon, the company providing the aircraft’s cameras. It was later copied onto VHS tape, but it remained classified Secret until 2006, when John Mueller (another Hycon employee) saved it from destruction and got it declassified. It is nearly one hour long, and is viewable on YouTube in three parts. Thanks to Joe Donoghue for uploading it:
SPY IN THE SKY
A documentary made in 1995 by WGBH-TV for PBS in the series The American Experience. It covers the early years leading up to the MayDay shootdown. I was a consultant on this one, and arranged for some of the filming to done with the U-2 on display at The Imperial War Museum, Duxford, UK. There are interviews with some of my favorite veterans, including CIA pilot Bob Ericson, Skunk Works engineers Bob Klinger and Bob Murphy, and Gen Andrew Goodpaster, who was a key advisor to President Eisenhower. Sadly, none of them are still with us. Watch it on YouTube.
A VIDEO FROM THE EIGHTIES
This untitled production was made for the USAF at Beale AFB in the mid-1980s, and explains the whole process from pilot selection through training to operations very well. Great commentary and atmospheric music soundtrack! Checkout those distinctive bright orange flight coveralls that the pilots wore until Air Combat Command was created in 1992. Gosh – I have met every one of the pilots featured here! And note the U-2 with the slab-sided nose – that was for the Precision Emitter Location and Strike System (PELSS), an ambitious project that never did work properly. Viewable on YouTube here.
UNHAPPY LANDINGS !
This humorous short film shows just how difficult it can be to land the U-2. Some amazing scenes, mostly from the 1990s and 2000s, although there are brief appearances by the white U-2CT “two-headed goats” that were retired in 1987. It was compiled by U-2S and ER-2 pilot Stu Broce, whose great inflight photography can be seen in my book DRAGON LADY TODAY. Thanks Stu!