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U-2 Model used by Francis Gary Powers

Artifact Details

A CIA airplane replica

Powers used a U-2 model during his testimony about the downing of his aircraft.

On 1 May 1960, Soviets shot down U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers over Sverdlovsk.  He spent 21 months in a Russian prison. In 1962, Powers was exchanged for Soviet intelligence officer Col. Rudolf Abel. Abel had been arrested in New York in 1957.

This is one of two U-2 models crafted for Powers. CIA model makers made this for his March 1962 Senate Armed Services Committee testimony about the downing of his aircraft. The wings and tail are detachable to show the aircraft’s breakup after the shootdown.

Artifact Specs

28 cm x 45 cm x 7.8 cm

(L x W x H)

Additional Photos

A CIA airplane replica with the tail detached
A closer view of the CIA airplane replica


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Learn More

A Look Back… The Cold War: Strangers On a Bridge

The CIA and the U-2 Program, 1954-1974

The U-2 Program: The DCI’s Perspective

The U-2 Program: A Russian Officer Remembers