It’s like the McLaren F1 of recon planes

When it comes to cutting-edge military hardware, the SR-71 Blackbird is undoubtedly one of the most impressive machines out there. Known for pushing the limits of what’s technically possible in an aircraft, a trove of newly released archival footage was just released, giving us fans a chance to gaze in wonder at this incredible feat of engineering.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story

When it was built, the SR-71 was the fastest jet-propelled aircraft in the world, capable of 2,100 mph.

The SR-71 Blackbird was a product of the Cold War, put into service to spy on the Soviet Union and designed to be impossible to shoot down. Offered as a successor to the relatively slow-moving U-2 spy plane, the SR-71 was created by Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works division, which was also responsible for the F-117 Nighthawk, F-22 Raptor, and F-35 Lightning II.

Indeed, this is the elite group of engineers and scientists responsible for coining the Skunk Works designation, which is now used widely in a variety of different industries, including high-performance automobiles.

Check Out This Recently Released Footage of the Legendary SR-71 Blackbird
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Like all incredible feats of engineering, the SR-71’s spec sheet begs belief. When it was built, it was the fastest jet-propelled aircraft in the world, capable of achieving a top speed of 2,100 mph (35 miles per minute). It could also operate at 80,000 feet in the air, and it could produce as much as 34,000 pounds of thrust from its twin engines.

The Blackbird’s incredible speed and altitude capabilities were matched by its stealth signature, with just 90 percent of its physical cross-section appearing on radar.

Just 32 were constructed before the Blackbird was officially retired in the late ‘90s. Now, however, we can check it out in this recently published archival footage, which shows the Blackbird undergoing testing.

References

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