This video, released by the Central Intelligence Agency for historical purposes, shows us not only the U-2 spy plane’s development, but also glimpses of “Watertown Strip,” which sprung up from the desolate Groom Lake to become America’s most secretive flight test center, Area 51.
The early ‘60s logistical train shown in the video and Lockheed’s Skunk Works personnel at work making aerospace history, along with Area 51’s close historical association with nearby Las Vegas, are details that are just as amazing as the aircraft themselves.
Today, Watertown Strip is a sprawling and ever expanding top secret Air Force Base, with rows of massive hangars and ancillary testing facilities. It even has its own airline, something we will discuss in great detail in an upcoming Flight Club special feature.
Contact the author at Tyler@jalopnik.com.