By James Hamilton-Paterson
The American 'spy' airplane, the SR-71 'Blackbird' was once intentionally designed to be the world's quickest and highest-flying plane and hasn't ever been approached because.
It used to be conceived within the past due Fifties by way of Lockheed Martin's hugely mystery 'Skunk Works' workforce below the most (possibly the main) fantastic aero designers of all time, Clarence 'Kelly' Johnson. as soon as totally built in round 1963/4 the Blackbird represented the apogee of jet-powered flight. it may possibly fly at good over thrice the rate of sound above 85,000 ft and had an unrefuelled variety of 3,200 nautical miles. It flew with nice luck till 1998 (with NASA 1999). regardless of wide use over Vietnam and later battlefields none used to be ever shot down (unlike the U2 within the Gary Powers incident).
The Blackbird's features appear not going ever to be passed. It used to be retired simply because its task might be performed by way of satellites, and in cutting-edge regular development in the direction of unmanned army plane it's inconceivable that anybody will ever back have to layout a jet airplane in a position to such pace.
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Blackbird: The Story of the Lockheed SR-71 Spy Plane by James Hamilton-Paterson