[Video] U-2 spyplane landing as seen from chase car

A unique view, from inside a U-2 chase car.

Pilots are not supposed to have a car entering the active runway as they are about to land, unless they are on board a legendary U-2 Dragon Lady spyplane.

Based at Beale Air Force Base, California, home of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, and detached across the world, the U-2 require some special landing assistance by chase car driven by experienced pilot who talk their colleagues aboard the U-2s during (take off or) landing: since the pilot’s view on a Dragon Lady is obstructed by the airframe, chase cars drivers provide additional information about distance to touchdown and altitude in order to make landings less tricky.

Pontiac G8 GTs and new 400 HP V-8 Chevrolet Camaro SS cars, modified with U/VHF radios, are among those cars used at Beale to chase U-2 and RQ-4 Global Hawks  drones, both at Beale and abroad.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.