Keeping Dragon Ladies Tip Top:

The Air Force has employed 19 Lockheed Martin technicians in Southwest Asia for nearly two years to perform the extensive inspections the U-2 Dragon Lady aircraft need every 400 flying hours. The high-flying reconnaissance aircraft are in demand, so the Lockheed technicians work round-the-clock to complete each “phase inspection” within 14 days. They comb through the aircraft, looking for “things such as cracks, leaks, system failures, or wear patterns,” says Lockheed’s U-2 dock chief Bill Bonnichsen. Since Lockheed started doing the inspections in SWA in January 2005, the contractor team has completed 26 inspections, fixing problems along the way.