What happens when you have a pilot in a space suit try to land a plane that has only two sets of landing gear? The result: you need a really fast car to guide the pilot down safely.
The Lockheed U-2 spy plane is one of the most unique airplanes ever created. Its mission is to gather information. To do this safely, the U-2 flies at extremely high altitudes—70,000 feet—essentially in space. In order for a plane to reach this altitude, it has to be as lightweight as possible and when Lockheed was designing the plane, it surprisingly cut out a set of landing gear to save weight.
Scott Evans from Motor Trend recently got to ride in one of the Chevrolet Camaro chase cars that help the U-2 land and shared his experience in a recent article.
To help the U-2 pilot down, the Camaro driver has to literally drive just yards behind the rapidly descending plane and tell the pilot how far off the ground he is. When the plane reaches 2 feet above the ground, the pilot can finally touch the ground and land the plane. He then has to balance the plane on the two sets of landing gear until coming to a complete stop.
Watch this video to see the amazing teamwork in action.