National Geographic : 1967 Apr
'What?' you're already talking to yourself." We climbed through the haze to sunlight at 15,000 feet and swung eastward toward the Rhine. Other American and West German jets were busy that day. High overhead I caught the occasional flash of contrails, like paper streamers unraveling across the sky. The F-102-especially the two-seat trainer -is no match for the latest interceptors, but neither is it any laggard. Joe edged our speed past 500 miles an hour, and we swept across 480 the Rhine, a rivuletof molten pewter far below. We had orders to steer clear of the buffer zone, but the demonstration was still im pressive-within three minutes from the Rhine by my watch we were in sight of East Germany, a sun-flecked patch of uneven green half-hidden beneath the clouds ahead. "We'll be on their radar by now," Joe said. "Another few minutes on this course and we'd have company up here. Company, that is, not friends."