In a groundbreaking era of aviation, the A-12 Oxcart emerged as a seismic shift, challenging conventions and redefining what was possible.

The development of the A-12 Oxcart, a high-flying, supersonic reconnaissance aircraft, epitomized the Cold War era’s thirst for technological supremacy. Behind its sleek and enigmatic exterior lies a story of secret funds coming from America’s revered intelligence agency, as well as personal checks and a brilliant team of engineers who defied the odds to create an aviation legend.

A Successor to the U-2 Spy Plane: The Birth of the A-12 Oxcart

The A-12 Oxcart was conceived as the successor to the famed U-2 spy plane, designed to meet the United States’ urgent need for a reconnaissance aircraft capable of flying at unprecedented speeds and altitudes to evade Soviet air defenses.

In 1959, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) entrusted the development of this top-secret project to Lockheed Martin, the same company that had built the U-2.