Supersonic Spy Drone
- Magazine Article
Flying a spy plane over China's remote testing facility at Lop Nor was considered far too risky after a camera-equipped U-2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers was shot down on a mission over the Soviet Union in 1960. Thus, momentum quickly built for the idea of building a much faster, high-flying aircraft with no crew onboard at risk of capture or death. The U-2's subsonic speed made it too vulnerable to increasingly lethal surface-to-air antiaircraft missiles.