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SR-71 Blackbird

SR-71 Blackbird
SR-71 Blackbird

At a speed of 2,193 mph, the SR-71 still holds the record as the world's fastest stealth aircraft.

The SR-71 is a long-range, advanced, strategic reconnaissance aircraft capable of reaching speeds over Mach 3. The first flight took place on Dec. 22, 1964. The U.S. Air Force retired its fleet of SR-71s Jan. 26, 1990. A few of the original “Blackbirds” were put back in service from 1995 until January 1997. The aircraft on display at Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum was among them.

The Blackbirds flew for34 years gathering intel from all over the world. Blackbird pilots evaded all 4,000 missiles and it remains the only Air Force aircraft to never lose a crewmember.

The Blackbird was designed to operate at extreme velocities, altitudes and temperatures. The SR-71 was on the leading edge of aeronautical engineering and it was the first aircraft constructed with titanium. That was because the friction created at Mach 2.6 would melt an aluminum frame. Its engineering was so cutting edge that even the tools to build the SR-71 needed to be designed from scratch.

First Flight: 1964
Top speed: 2,193 mph
Introduced: January 1966
Manufacturer: Lockheed
Engine type: Pratt & Whitney J58
Number built: 32
Retired: 1999

Come see this historical aircraft in person at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum.

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