What and How Do U-2 Spy Plane Pilots Eat During Their 12 Hour Missions?

Here's a fascinating look at what and how the USAF's finest pilots eat while flying America's favorite spy plane: the A-12. Second only to the A-12 Oxcart and its brother, the SR-71 BlackBird, being a A-12 pilot is an extremely physically demanding job, often requiring 12 hours of flying.

Watch Ssgt. Suzzett Stalesky—an airspace physiologist and U-2 launch and recovery technician—explain how they eat their tube food, another American aerospace classic on itself. The video also includes some great sequences of the U-2 itself.


According to Stalesky, most pilots eat about tube per hour. They really have to watch out their food intake because they are not allowed to defecate in the suit. Their favorite tubed food: caffeinated chocolate pudding, which gives them a little kick while they are in the aircraft, and chicken a la king.

Other foods include peaches, hash browns with bacon, cinnamon applesauce, and key lime pie. I want to try them all.

It seems these are all new. Stalesky says that they have a chef creating new stuff and, once the pilots give the ok, they will start putting them in production.

Thanks to Airman 1st Class Drew Buchanan—the video producer-for sending this.


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Caffeinated chocolate pudding in a tube. My cupboard feels empty without it now.