Operating Location UK (OL-UK) U2 operations moved from RAF Alconbury to RAF Fairford on the 15th March 1995
It later moved from Fairford to Istres AB - France (OL-FR) in January 1996
June 16 1995 - 80-1066 Of the 9th Wing, Beale AFB, California, seen returning from a mission. This aircraft is fitted out with the 'Senior Span' radome (a satellite relay system) and numerous other antenna. This aircraft was later converted to U-2S configuration.
A U-2R 68-10338 piloted by Capt. David Hawkens experienced problems on take-off from RAF Fairford on 29 August 1995. Capt. Hawkins tried to return the U-2 to RAF Fairford, while making an emergency landing the left wingtip hit the ground, the plane then crashed and exploded into a fireball. Capt. Hawkens ejected from the aircraft at this point sustaining fatal injuries, he was taken to a local hospital, where he died later from his injuries. Capt. Hawkens appeared to stay with the aircraft so it would not impact any nearby homes and buildings
68-10338, Article 060, tenth of the initial twelve R-model order, first flown 2 October 1968, N818X allocated, delivered to the 100th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, 17 October 1968, to the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, 1976. First U-2 to reach 20,000 hours, in August 1994.
9th Reconnaissance Wing OL-UK Patch
RAF Fairford >