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SR-71 Blackbird

SR-71 Blackbird The SR-71 was an advanced, long-range, delta-wing strategic reconnaissance aircraft, made to reach high altitude and speed in order to avoid any incoming surface -to-air missiles. The SR-71 was developed by Lockheed Skunk Works, using the models of Lockheed Martin’s A-12 and YF-12A aircrafts. It could reach 3529.56 km/h (2193.17 mph, or mach 3.2)- enough to out-fly surface-to-air missiles, and also a record which no other military airplane managed to surpass. Its whereabouts were kept secret for a long time, a fact which suggests that it’s the so-called “Aurora” its eye-witnesses have seen. Only 32 blackbirds were made, and during its service between 1964 and 1998, 11 of them were lost in accidents. None of them were brought down by hostile nations, although there were over 4000 attempts to do so. Ironically, it was finally brought down by US’s government, because of its high maintenance cost. All remaining Blackbirds are presented today at museums across the United States.

It was originally designated by Lockheed as “Archangel” and “Article”, but its pilots occasionally named it “Blackbird”.

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