You Can Download the U-2 Spy Plane's Flight Manual Now That It's Declassified

By Will Smith

Achtung, baby!

Cold War relic. Upper-atmosphere research laboratory. Best spy plane ever? I'm not sure about the latter, but the U-2 is still one of my all-time favorite planes. It's not the fastest plane ever made, but its massive wingspan gave it the ability to reach 70,000 feet and stay there for around 12 hours. Though it debuted more than 50 years ago and its successor, the SR-71, has been removed from service, newer U-2 variants are still flying today. The U-2 is still collecting intelligence for the military and CIA, as well as doing research for NASA. Jalopnik noticed that the original 60s-era flight manual had been declassified, and it makes fascinating reading material. (via Drew Scanlon)