In the impressive footage below you can see several U-2s perform carrier take offs, touch and aircraft carrier landing and even if today carrier-based aircraft carrier U-2s are only a footnote to history
Project Whale Tale began on an August morning in 1963, when test pilot Bob Schumacher took off with his U-2 from the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier that sailed out of San Diego Harbor. After his successful launch, Schumacher performed several landing approaches, proving that the U-2’s performance made arrested landing and wave off possible.
On the first landing test, everything worked. But when the tailhook caught the wire, the aircraft bounced and pitched nose-down, resulting in some minor damage which was repaired aboard. Given the U-2’s challenging landing behavior, this was a remarkable testament to the aviation skills. Further tests smoothed out the procedures and the seaborne U-2s were ready for action.