The SR-71 is one of the most famous spy planes ever developed by the United States Air Force.
The Lockheed Martin SR-71 "Blackbird" is a long-range, high-altitude, strategic reconnaissance aircraft.
The SR-71 has a flight crew of two in tandem cockpits. The pilot sits in the forward cockpit, and the reconnaissance systems officer operates the surveillance systems and equipment from the rear cockpit, in addition to directing navigation on the mission flight path.
The SR-71 was designed to minimize its radar cross-section, one of the earliest attempts by the US at a stealth design.
It had dark blue paint that appeared almost black to the naked eye. Lockheed engineers wanted to increase the emission of internal heat and use it as camouflage against the night sky. The dark color led to the aircraft's nickname of "Blackbird".
Lockheed Martin was the defense contractor tasked with building the legendary bird. The technology and project was one of the best kept secrets of the US government.
During this time the United States kept flying the U-2 spy plane, after the SR-71 was introduced.
The Blackbirds were stationed at Kadena Airforce base in Okinawa, Japan. Kadena Airforce base was a vital defense installation for the United States’ “First Strike' ' capabilities against the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War. The Air Force also equipped the base with B52'S, F4's, and KC135'S.
The Soviet Union developed and produced two supersonic fighters with the sole purpose of shooting down SR-71: MiG 25 Foxbat and MiG 31 Foxhound.
Both failed at this task but became useful planes for the Soviet Union nevertheless.
In Libya, the SR-71 reached a max speed mach 3.5 when she was evading Surface to Air missiles.
The SR-71 is, without a doubt, one of the most magnificent flying machines that have ever been produced.