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A detailed model of the U-2, complete with texture sets, all components, wheels, and doors, rudders are parented and pivoted for animation.
All major surface textures are 4096 in greatest dimension. Color, bump, and specular maps provided. Dashboard controls have their own textures. Photoshop templates for each detail are available for download.
The U-2 project was initiated in the early 1950s by the CIA which desperately wanted accurate information on the Soviet Union. Overflights of the Soviet Union with modified bombers were taking place frequently, but they were vulnerable to antiaircraft fire and fighters, and a number of overflights and peripheral missions were shot down. It was thought a high altitude aircraft such as the U-2 would be hard to detect and impossible to shoot down. The manufacturer was given the assignment with an unlimited budget and a short time frame. Its Skunk Works, headed by Clarence 'Kelly' Johnson performed remarkably, and the first flight occurred in August 1955. Edwin Land of the Polaroid Corporation developed the optics for a new large format camera to be used in the U-2 mission. These new cameras were able to provide high enough resolution from 70,000 ft that you could see people on the ground. The aircraft's first overflight of the Soviet Union occured on July 4, 1956, when it departed the Army Airfield in Wiesbaden-Erbenheim, Germany to overfly Leningrad. Interestingly, at the same time as the first overflight, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev was visiting the U.S. ambassador to Russia in Moscow, and the two toasted President Eisenhower's health. 
The aircraft came to public attention during the U-2 Crisis when pilot Francis Gary Powers was shot down over Soviet territory on May 1, 1960. On October 14, 1962, it was a U-2 from the 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing that photographed the Soviet military installing nuclear warhead missiles in Cuba, precipitating the Cuban missile crisis. However, later in the Cuban missile crisis, another U-2 was shot down, killing the pilot, Major Rudolph Anderson. Major Anderson was posthumously awarded the first Air Force Cross. The expected development by the Soviets of SAMs that could reach the U-2 - the type that eventually shot down Powers and Anderson - prompted the CIA to authorize the development of a faster, higher-flying reconnaissance aircraft even before the U-2 became operational. The manufacturer's proposal, the A-12, was selected and the CIA ordered production of the new aircraft under the codename OXCART. The A-12 design spawned several variants, including the Air Force's YF-12 interceptor, the CIA's M/D-21, and the famous USAF SR-71, commonly called the 'Blackbird.'
The USAF Strategic Air Command had U-2s in service from 1957 through 1991.
The U-2 provides daily peacetime indications and warning intelligence collection from its current operating locations around the world. When requested from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U-2 also has provided photography supporting their disaster relief efforts. U-2s also provided critical intelligence data during all phases of Operations Desert Storm and Allied Force.
However, most imagery intelligence used by the U.S. military now comes from reconnaissance satellites. The first Corona surveillance satellite took more photographs of the Soviet Union than the total from all 24 of the U-2 missions over the country. On the oth