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Spy Plane facts

While investigating facts about Spy Plane, I found out little known, but curios details like:

A drunk Richard Nixon ordered a nuclear strike on North Korea for shooting down a spy plane. Henry Kissinger intervened and made him sober up before deciding.

In the 1960's, US spy planes were taking photos of Cuba. Those who analyzed them noticed something peculiar. They were building soccer fields. Cubans don't like soccer, they like baseball. Russians like soccer. This is how the Cuban Missile Crisis started.

In my opinion, it is useful to put together a list of the most interesting details from trusted sources that I've come across. Here are 50 of the best facts about Spy Plane I managed to collect.

  1. Some of the first US spy satellites took imagery on 70 millimeter film, which was recovered by dropping huge film canisters from space and catching them mid-air by a passing US Air Force plane

  2. During the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis a second U2 Spy Plane had strayed into Soviet Airspace. When radioing for directions an unknown voice told him to turn right 35 degrees which would have taken him deeper into the Soviet Union. When asked for an identifying code there was no response.

  3. In 1984, a group of cannabis growers in Northern California sued the federal government, alleging they had been subject to illegal surveillance by U2 spy planes.

  4. The first American spy satellites literally dropped their film from space in a "film bucket" that was then scooped up in midair by a plane.

  5. After making an emergency landing in China in 2001, the crew of a US Spy Plane were asked by their Chinese captors to recite the lyrics to "Hotel California" to prove their nationality.

  6. Gary Powers survived being shot down in his U2 spy plane from 21km (70,000 feet) altitude over USSR in 1960, but he died after his news reporting chopper ran out of fuel over LA in California in 1977.

  7. An American WWII fighter pilot tried to open fire on a Japanese spy plane only to find his guns were jammed. So he used his propeller as a giant buzzsaw and chopped the tail off the enemy plane.

  8. The majority of the titanium used for building the SR-71 spy plane came from USSR through CIA dummy corporations.

  9. North Korea once shot down an American spy plane—killing 31 soldiers—and the USA didn’t retaliate

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In order to build the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane, the US needed the largest piece of titanium ever forged in the world. The US has few titanium resources, and had to buy it from the Soviet Union.

David Steeves, a USAF pilot who twisted both of his ankles upon crashing in the Sierras in 1957 and then crawled out of the wilderness 54 days later. Some doubted his story & thought he was a Soviet spy. It wasn't until 1977 that the plane wreckage was found to vindicate his story. - source

The SR-71 Blackbird spy plane had interchangeable noses. Each nose had a different camera or sensor package in it. - source

Much of the titanium used to build the fleet of U.S. SR71 spy planes was procured from the Soviet Union without their knowledge. This was accomplished through the use of 3rd world countries and "bogus" operations and a go between.

One positive outcome for the Americans was that they learned that Soviet SAMs were more effective than they previously thought and they were able to make changes accordingly.

Powers safely ejected from the plane, was taken alive in Soviet territory, and was sentenced to seven years of hard labor in a Russian prison.

Powers only served two years of the sentence before he was exchanged for a Russian prisoner being held by the Americans.

Jeremy Wade of River Monsters journeys around the world have not been restricted to fishing. At various times, Wade has been detained as a suspected spy, caught malaria, been threatened at gunpoint, and survived a plane crash.

Soviet fighter jets were unable to fly at the altitude of U-2 planes and it was believed that Soviet surface to air (SAM) missile technology also could not hit the planes.

The first two U-2 missions were flown by British pilots. Powers" was the fourth mission.

The U-2 missions were flown from a secret CIA base in Pakistan

Interesting facts about spy plane

The US SR-71 Blackbird cold war spy plane was built using Titanium from the USSR

The United States had a network of spy satellites that were used to take reconnaissance pictures of the USSR and China, and the film cannisters were often retrieved by plane as the fell to Earth.

At first, the United States disavowed the mission, claiming it was a civilian NASA exercise, but later admitted it was a spy plane.

At least 30 American spy planes (and over 200 airmen) were shot down while flying over the USSR during the early years of the Cold War

The U-2 is considered one of the most difficult planes to fly, with its landings being especially hard due to a reduced field of vision.

Powers was shot down by a Soviet S-75 Dvina SAM near Sverdlovsk/Yekaterinburg in southcentral Russia.

The CIA landed one of its U-2 spy planes on an aircraft carrier, and then launched the plane without using a catapult

The SR-71 Blackbird supersonic spy plane was used in the manhunt of skyjacker D.B. Cooper

U-2s continued to be used by the United States military and intelligence after Powers" mission failed. It was a U-2 that discovered the Soviet missile silos being built in Cuba in 1962.

Peter Parker's parents were killed in a plane crash. They were spies. Following their deaths Peter went to live with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben.

Titanium used for Mach3+ Cold War spy plane came from Russia and was acquired by shell companies abroad to purchase it from the very nation it was spying on

Before the incident, relations had been easing between the United States and the Soviet Union. American Vice President Richard Nixon had visited the Soviet Union in July 1959 and then Khrushchev reciprocated by visiting the United States in September.

U-2s of the era could reach altitudes of 70,000 feet.

His projects included the Genetrix balloon borne camera, the Manned Orbiting Laboratory and the camera for the Lockheed U-2 spy plane.

About a 1972 Top Secret spy satellite capsule that was supposed to reenter the atmosphere and be caught by an airplane. The plane missed, the capsule sank three miles deep in the ocean, and it was so important the CIA sent a submarine down to go find it (CIA pdf linked).

A Russian fighter pilot who was shadowing the U-2 was killed during the missile strike.

The first international flight of the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane occurred during a training mission in 1967 when the plane's navigation system failed, allowing the pilots to accidentally fly into Mexican airspace

Lee Majors, who was a major television actor from the 1960s through the 1980s, played Powers in a television movie.

Khrushchev caught the Americans in a lie by initially not stating Powers" condition.

While shooting aerial footage over Greenland when making the classic "Dr. Strangelove, the second unit camera crew accidentally film a secret US military base. Their plane was forced down, and the crew was suspected of being Soviet spies.

This is our collection of basic interesting facts about Spy Plane. The fact lists are intended for research in school, for college students or just to feed your brain with new realities. Possible use cases are in quizzes, differences, riddles, homework facts legend, cover facts, and many more. Whatever your case, learn the truth of the matter why is Spy Plane so important!

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