The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird Mach 3-strategic reconnaissance aircraft remained the world’s fastest and highest-flying operational aircraft throughout its nearly 24-year career.
From 80,000 feet, it could survey 100,000 square miles of Earth’s surface per hour. And in the off chance an enemy tried to shoot it down with a missile, all the Blackbird had to do was speed up and outrun it.
SR-71 is indeed an impressive record thanks to their unique features, such as being able to fly over Mach 3.5 (4,287 km / h) at an altitude of 88,000 feet (26.8 km), Radar Cross Section (RCS) is low and warfare systems sophisticated electronics. Which also make it the fastest aircraft in its time.
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Characteristic flying SR-71 Blackbird dubbed this makes it safe from the threat of interception by fighter planes or missiles surface-to-air (SAM), especially during the mission lurking in the Soviet Union in the Cold War.
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Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird
The Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird” is a long-range, Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft that was operated by the United States Air Force.
It was developed as a black project from the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft in the 1960s by Lockheed and its Skunk Works division. American aerospace engineer Clarence “Kelly” Johnson was responsible for many of the design’s innovative concepts. The shape of the SR-71 was based on the A-12 which was one of the first aircraft to be designed with a reduced radar cross-section.
The SR-71 served with the U.S. Air Force from 1964 to 1998. A total of 32 aircraft were built; 12 were lost in accidents with none lost to enemy action. The SR-71 has been given several nicknames, including “Blackbird” and “Habu”.