Chasing the U-2 Dragon

View from reconnaissance aircraft U-2 Dragon Lady's chase cars. Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro. As an instrument of safety, pilots use the U-2 chase car to monitor take offs and landings of the aircraft in an attempt to warn the pilot of any possible complications or dangers. As the aircraft lifts off or lands, pilots in the chase car radio the pilot about wing angles and ground distance. The chase car can reach speeds of more than 100 mph, but the speed ranges depending on the needs of the outgoing or incoming aircraft. "The car is really important as a margin of safety," said Maj. Alex Scott, a 5th Reconnaissance Squadron U-2 pilot. "Actually, in the past they tried using other aircraft as chasers, but they couldn't fly slowly enough, so as a result they started using high-performance muscle cars." - Airman 1st Class Michael Battles 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs