DAYTON, OH. 6-16-05 (AFPN) - An exhibit highlighting the Air Force's early Cold War reconnaissance opened to the public at the National Museum of the United States Air Force here June 15.

Dragon Lady: The U-2 and Early Cold War Reconnaissance exhibit joins the museum's permanent displays in the Cold War Gallery.

The U-2 has played a vital role in American strategic intelligence for more than 50 years. The unique high-flying reconnaissance jet was designed early in the Cold War to over fly and photograph military activities in the Soviet Union and other communist nations.

Nicknamed “Dragon Lady” after a 1930s comic strip character, the aircraft has been used by the U.S. Air Force, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The museum's exhibit highlights the U-2 aircraft, reconnaissance missions and photo interpretation. Featured artifacts include a U-2 pilot suit and an A-2 camera set.