The U-2 spy plane, Dragon Lady, is notoriously difficult to land because it has a tendency to hover over the runway and is very susceptible to any type of turbulence. As it approaches the runway, the cushion of air provided by the high-lift wings begins the stall effect to reduce lift on the wings and helps to provide equal stall effects, thereby minimizing wing drop, especially during strong winds.
Landing a U-2 is so difficult that, on land, a chase car and a second U-2 pilot are assisting the U-2 pilot in the air with the angle of descent, decreasing aircraft speed, and altitude height as the aircraft descends.
Another surprising aspect of the Dragon Lady spy plane is the landing gear itself. When it has safely landed you will see that, instead of the typical three wheel landing gear, the U-2 uses a bicycle wheel formation with the primary front wheels situated just behind the pilot’s cockpit and the main set of rear wheels behind the engine.
The first U-2G landed on the USS Ranger on Mar. 2, 1964 when it was sailing off the Californian coast. The pilot first performed a touch and go before setting it down on the deck with amazing skill.
In this incredible footage you will see multiple carrier take offs and landings, which made the pilot officially carrier qualified!