This plane was created by Kelly Johnson and set the world speed record in July 1976 of 2193.167 MPH and has held it ever since. In the same flight it also set the altitude record of 85,068.997 feet. One SR-71 was donated to the Smithsonian Institute and in a farewell flight, flew from Los Angeles to Washington DC in 64 minutes.
The SR-71 was designed as a high-speed high altitude aircraft, providing pre-attack and post-attack reconnaissance. SR-71 aircraft flew most of their operational missions from Detachment 1, Kadena Air base, Okinawa. Between 1968 and its deactivation in 1990, the SR-71 fleet flew over 3,500 operational sorties. No SR-71 was ever shot down or hit by enemy fire, and they are known to have outrun 100s of missiles. It could fly 1 mile in under 2 seconds. To me, that seems like something out of science fiction. An impossible feat and yet it was a part of our defense for years.
The cockpit and nose of the Blackbird
eye to eye - face to face
Look at that long, sleek body. Wouldn't you just love to fly that thing!!
Well, come to think of it, maybe not. (grin)
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