Tuesday, November 22, 2011

SR-71 "Blackbird"
Dryden's SR-71B Blackbird, NASA 831, slices across the snow-covered southern Sierra Nevada Mountains of California after being refueled by an Air Force tanker during a 1994 flight. SR-71B was the trainer version of the SR-71. The dual cockpit to allow the instructor to fly.
An SR-71B trainer over the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California in 1994. The raised second cockpit is for the instructor.
Role Strategic reconnaissance aircraft
Manufacturer Lockheed Skunk Works
Designer Clarence "Kelly" Johnson
First flight 22 December 1964
Introduction 1966
Retired 1998
Status Retired
Primary users United States Air Force
NASA
Number built 32
Developed from Lockheed A-12
The Lockheed SR-71 "Blackbird" was an advanced, long-range, Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft.[1] It was developed as a black project from the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft in the 1960s by the Lockheed Skunk Works. Clarence "Kelly" Johnson was responsible for many of the design's innovative concepts. During reconnaissance missions the SR-71 operated at high speeds and altitudes to allow it to outrace threats. If a surface-to-air missile launch was detected, the standard evasive action was simply to accelerate and outrun the missile.[2]
The SR-71 served with the U.S. Air Force from 1964 to 1998. Although 12 of the 32 aircraft built were destroyed in accidents, none were lost to enemy action.[3][4] The SR-71 was unofficially named the Blackbird, and called the Habu by its crews, referring to an Okinawan species of pit viper.[5] Since 1976, it has held the world record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft, a

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