The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird is the most spectacular performer ever
to leave the ground under its own power and spread wings. Thirty
years after entering service, the Blackbird is aloft again after a
premature retirement. It is still the world's fastest and
highest-flying operational aircraft.
The aircraft announced by LBJ on February 29, 1964 was the YF-12A.
He stated that "The performance of the A-11 far exceeds that of any
other aircraft in the world today." Cruising speeds in excess of
Mach 3, at altitudes over 70,000 feet were attributed to the new
design. At the time of the announcement, no Air Force figher
designation existed for Lockheed's revolutionary design.
Reportedly, LBJ misread 'AMI' (Advanced Manned Interceptor) as
'A-11', and this was allowed to stand. If this is true, then LBJ
can claim some sort of record for misstatement, for when he
followed up his February 29 A-11 announcement with a July 25
revelation of the development of the SR-71, he juxtaposed
Reconnaissance Strike (RS-70, as the ill-fated XB-70 was to have
been operationally known) into Strike Reconnaissance. Since the
cancelled RS-70 had been meant to operate as a Strategic
strike aircraft, it was not unreasonable to
assume that it's only othe rocmpanion in Mach 3 land might not to
the same. And to solidify this impression, SR: Strike
Reconnaissance, become SR: Strategic Reconnaissance.
Proud Member of:
James L. (Jim) Gorman
Phone: (972) 317-2985
TollFree: (800) 200-2985
Fax: (972) 317-3084
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