Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird – The Plane Designed to Leak | PlaneHistoria
The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird was a fast, stealthy, and high-flying spy plane that remains the fastest manned aircraft in history. The Blackbird could fly at speeds of Mach 3.3, or nearly three times the speed of sound. It could also fly higher than any other manned aircraft — at peak altitudes above 85,000 feet, where air is so thin pilots must wear pressure suits to avoid developing hypothermia and becoming unable to perform essential functions. Even more impressively, the SR-71 can do this all without an afterburner — it’s that efficient.
The SR-71 was retired from service in 1999 due to cost and the effectiveness of newer spy planes that have since replaced it. However, even with its retirement from active service, the SR-71 remains one of the most well-known military aircraft still in operation today. Let’s take a closer look at how this legendary plane was forged from failure.