Welcome to Sunday Matinee, where we highlight classic car reviews or other longer videos I find on YouTube. Kick back and enjoy this blast from the past.
At 70,000 feet, you can see the curvature of the Earth wrap itself along the horizon. It is the ultimate proof of the ancient discovery of the shape of our planet, and it serves as a reminder of the insignificance of our species.
At the same time, if you took one step outside you'd die very, very quickly. And possibly quite painfully, too, unless you simply passed out first. That's because at anything above 50,000 feet, you might as well be in space, as far as physiological reactions go.
Overall, just not a pleasant experience, then.
When James May and his crew from the BBC realized that they had a bunch of extra footage left over from his excellent documentary about the Apollo moon missions, they realized they could fashion another one, simply about the British telly presenter's trip in a U-2 spy plane.
The U-2 has been in service as a reconnaissance aircraft for over 50 years, and it's still incredibly useful. At the same time, it's getting set for retirement in favor of the RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle. Which is a shame, because we won't see rides like this anymore, and also because the U-2 needs the help of a Camaro to land, which is awesome.
So as we say goodbye to the fantastic U-2, enjoy this fascinating documentary. It's the least you could do.