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This 2009 Pontiac G8 GT Used to Chase U-2 Spy Planes, and Now It Can Be Yours

If you happen to like your used vehicles with a facet order of navy intrigue, your superb automobile is on the market on a authorities surplus website proper now. It’s a white 2009 Pontiac G8 GT that was made in Australia and imported to the U.S., then pressed into service by the Air Power as a chase automotive for U-2 plane.

This innocuous-looking sedan packs a punch, powered by a beefy 6.0L V8 producing 355 horsepower at 5,300 rpm and 385 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. Decked out with a two-tone crimson and black leather-based inside and a crimson sprint gauge cluster, this G8 GT has been fitted with new tires, brakes, rotors, and a brand new GM transmission and has fewer than 40,000 miles on the clock. Surplus liquidity website GovDeals.com says it obtained the Pontiac from the federal authorities straight from the “Dragon Girl” excessive altitude plane program, which used quite a lot of vehicles to chase U-2 planes to assist land them.

“Chasers are used for each landings and takeoffs,” defined Ian D’Costa on the Tactical Air Community website. “The automotive, nonetheless pushed by a U-2 pilot, is positioned close to the runway the plane is about to alight on, engine revving, driver patiently ready. When the U-2 passes the runway’s threshold, the motive force accelerates, roaring in behind the plane now gliding over the asphalt. With one foot on the gasoline rocketing the cellular above 100 miles per hour (and as much as 130-140 mph at instances), one hand on the wheel and the opposite gripping a radio handset, the pilot within the cellular calls out the numbers and estimations the U-2’s pilot must know, as they each coordinate the touchdown. Not a simple feat for both.

“Behind each the U-2 and its cellular, a utility truck hurries up with a rack of outrigger wheels, known as ‘pogos,’” D’Costa continued. “Crew bounce out and run to the plane, now balancing like a bicycle and slowly leaning to 1 facet. The wings are held regular, whereas the outrigger gear [is] clipped on, stabilizing the U-2, and the restoration is full.”

Earlier than the Pontiac G8 GT, the USAF and CIA reportedly used Ford station wagons, Chevrolet El Caminos, Ford Mustangs, and Chevrolet Camaros, all with V8s that might sustain with the U-2. I’ve by no means seen this in motion, and I used to be astonished to observe the video under and perceive how shut these autos drive to the huge plane because it touches down. My coronary heart was pounding as if I had been watching an motion film.

4 days are left within the public sale and the bidding on this Pontiac G8 is approaching $18,000 in the mean time. Go get your self an uncommon Pontiac and faux you’re chasing your individual spy aircraft.

Acquired a tip? Ship me a message at kristin.shaw@thedrive.com.

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