Skip to main content

Iphimedia LC

Strategic Intents
Innovation life cycle
Innovation Strategy
Strategy Advisory
Contact Us
Site Map
Member Login

The Lockheed U-2, nicknamed "Dragon Lady", is a single-engine, very high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) and previously flown by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). It provides day and night, very high-altitude (70,000 feet / 21,000 meters), all-weather intelligence gathering. The aircraft is also used for electronic sensor research and development, satellite calibration, and satellite data validation.

The first flight occurred at the Groom Lake test site (Area 51) on 1 August 1955.

In 1998, 43 years later it won a Collier Award for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America---Lockheed Martin Corporation, GE Aircraft Engines, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Air Combat Command of the United States Air Force, and Defense Intelligence Agency.  For designing, manufacturing, and operating the U-2S/ER-2 high altitude, all-weather, multi-functional data collection aircraft, which serves as America’s Sentinel of Peace around the world.

In 2011, 56 years later it is being replaced by unmanned drones a disruptive innovation replacing a previous disruptive innovation.