Why are we still using spy planes?

Why are we still using spy planes?

Why are we still using spy planes?

Previously published Slate articles made new.
June 22 2005 4:21 PM

The U-2's Still Got It

Are we still using spy planes?

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A pilot died yesterday in the crash of an American U-2 spy plane in the United Arab Emirates. After another U-2 crashed in 2003, Brendan Koerner explained why satellite technology has not completely replaced the 48-year-old planes for aerial surveillance. Not only are satellites incapable of breaking their orbit to focus on a target, Koerner writes, but "foes with even middling intelligence can usually figure out when American satellites are passing overhead and cease suspicious activity during those times."