U-2 Spyplane Caught in Flight in Google Earth

U2 in Flight in Google Earth

Sometimes the satellite images Google acquires happen to capture some really unique sight. This one is really awesome for those of us who try to find planes captured in flight in Google Earth: A U-2 Spyplane flying over Kuwait! This one was found by plane aficionado ‘Delta102‘ of the Google Earth Community. He’s found many other planes in Google Earth, but this is one of the best. NOTE: the orange colored ‘shadow’ to the upper left is actually an artifact of the satellite cameras which is caused by the plane’s motion. You see this in GE with planes and cars (the further away, the faster the object).
Other unique planes captured in flight:

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. I wonder how long it will take the plane to be removed from GE.

  2. I think its rather fake since every building in the area have shadows to other direction compared to the plane.

  3. Well, I really don’t care if they remove it, I’m going to take a screenshot of the area!

  4. To ‘Skeptic’, what you’ve failed to understand is there is no shadow. The ghost is an artifact of the aircraft movement while the satellite takes images. It has nothing to do with the angle of sunlight. The ghost is an indication of the speed of the object moving and the angle of the object compared with the movement of the satellite.
    It’s a classic example of an aircraft in flight. Not fake.
    It’s not actually the first U2 caught in flight, as there was one that had just taken off from Beale AFB years ago now. (long since gone in image updates) It IS, however, the first one imaged at a reasonable altitude and near areas where its mission is likely to be.

  5. this is so important to anderstand that the world is one but politics do it horrible

  6. Kafouzalem says:

    I expected the spyplane to appear bigger, relative to the buildings over which it is flying, on account of its very high altitude. No good flying low if you’re trying to spy, after all. Is there some technical (optical?) reason why this wouldn’t look proportionately right from a satellite camera?

  7. Etienne Lantier says:

    Technically, the plane is correct in its size. Compare – it’s about as large as one of the buildings…that’s pretty big. also, the plane is MUCH closer to the buildings than it is to the satellite – plane at <10km while satellite is 750km

  8. i,m new to google and what i,m finding ie this spy plane is amazing.why would google or anyone for that matter post something phony when the whole sight is alive with so many features

  9. I don’t really think that they should remove it…this plane is not so much top secret anymore. You can even see many videos of it on YouTube. There are also many other aircraft visible in GE…I wonder how soon will someone find the Boeing 787 Dreamliner ( http://www.aviafilms.com/boeing-787-dreamliner.php ) captured in GE? Or even the A380?

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