Although it was introduced way back in 1966, and retired from service a whopping eighteen years ago, the SR-71 Blackbird remains among the most popular military aircraft of all time – and with good reason. Despite its relative old age when compared to modern feats of aviation ingenuity like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter or the F-22 Raptor, the SR-71 could still mop the floor with them in terms of top speed or operational ceiling. It even continues to inspire those who build America’s most advanced aircraft, with a whole new generation of engineers currently hard at work designing the SR-72, a potentially MACH 6 capable follow-up to the venerable Blackbird.
While the SR-71’s sleek looks, unusual shape, and impressive statistics can all be credited with its popularity, perhaps it’s stories like this, however, that truly launch the reconnaissance aircraft out of the realm of “cool” and into the category of “legendary.”
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