07 September 2009

Here Come The Warm Jets

Like the Polaroid SX-70 Land camera and Concorde, the U-2 spy plane's spare, singular design has aged insanely well. Even though the first test flight was held in 1955, the glider-like fuselage looks completely contemporary: it could as easily have been drawn up yesterday by Marc Newson. Designed by Kelly Johnson and Lockheed for Cold War high-altitude reconnaissance, the U-2 was first rejected by the Air Force before catching the attention of a civilian review panel that included inventor, industrialist and 20th century American super-genius Edwin Land of Polaroid. He successfully lobbied CIA director Allen Dulles to sponsor development and construction of the plane, which 60 years later is still in chic, stylish service.

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