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50 Years Ago Today: First Flight of the SR-71 Blackbird

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posted on Dec, 23 2014 @ 02:22 AM

The need for such a swift strategic reconnaissance aircraft became apparent in 1960, when the Blackbird's subsonic predecessor, the U-2, was rendered a sitting duck by Russian radar. The Skunk Works, Lockheed's secretive advanced development division, succeeded in getting a test version--the A-12--off the ground at Groom Lake (a.k.a. Area 51) in April, 1962--development as head-spinningly fast as the aircraft itself. Even more astonishing was the tech, frequently summed up at the time as "black magic." Topping a long list of revolutionary components were monstrous Pratt & Whitney J58 jet engines and a design that drastically reduced radar signature, pioneering "stealth" technology. If Russian missiles ever did manage to lock on to a Blackbird, it could simply outrun them. Said a sign over the entrance to an SR-71 base, "Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death I Shall Fear No Evil--For I am at 80,000 Feet and Climbing."

This is 50 year old technology folks, where do you imagine we REALLY are now? The Military and Government and its black budget and black projects keep a lot of things under the wraps. So what I am having a hard time wrapping my head around, is that if this was flying 50 years ago, then what do we have now? 50 years is quite a while where technology progression is concerned. This makes me wonder if these Triangle craft/platforms people are seeing are some form of next generation flight technology that we are testing. Then again, those have been seen for decades, so who knows.

I bet we have craft right now that nobody knows about and has been mistaken for many a UFO sighting much like the SR-71 Blackbird was back then.

Also, I believe the SR-71 Blackbird capability's are still classified ?
edit on 23-12-2014 by Bloodydagger because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 23 2014 @ 02:32 AM
Logging back in after what appears to be a internet snag!

This is the greatest bird known to me.. no other plane matches.
It had variants.. and a drone. ( the drone caused a death at sea )
But she was the best I can see..

Zaphod58 will stop in..
He will give much better input on this magnificent bird..

Have a star!

The 12... I mean SR-71 is a milestone to me..

posted on Dec, 23 2014 @ 03:15 AM
50 year old tech AND IT STILL is arguably the fastest piloted jet aircraft EVER. That's staggering to think about. This tech was THAT advanced at the time. Like the OP has stated, just how far have we advanced in black budget projects if this 50 year old tech is still relatively competitive today?

posted on Dec, 23 2014 @ 09:28 AM
1903- write brothers fly
1947- sound barrier broken
1966- sr71 introduced

So in less than 70 years we went from barely flight to our current record speed, and then in the next fifty years....

Seems a bit fishy, but I'm not going to be at all surprised if 1966 dawned the peak of our air flight speed technology- but I'm not willing to believe that all of the computer tech that's been invented since (And I'm certain a whole host of other gizmos we don't even know about) have not really improved the usefulness of this flight speed.

posted on Dec, 23 2014 @ 10:45 AM
a reply to: lordcomac

So in less than 70 years we went from barely flight to our current record speed, and then in the next fifty years.... Seems a bit fishy,

Why does this seem fishy? Don't forgot that world war 1 and world war 2 happened during those years ( and a lot more wars in which the US participated). These events gave birth to many new military technologies and stirred technological advances.

Man kinds intelligence is superb when it gets to making tools. Combined with the billions pumped into the war machine, access to highly intelligent German and American scientists, top economy and access to all necessary supplies and locations, it doesn't seem to be so fishy at all.
edit on 23-12-2014 by Velom because: Spelling

posted on Dec, 23 2014 @ 03:16 PM
Im with ya there, truely a majestic metal beast!, i had no interest in planes until i was given a blackbird poster by a family friend from usaf. The stealth bomber and fighters are cool, but the SR71 is the daddie of them all!!
S+F. a reply to: Bigburgh

posted on Dec, 23 2014 @ 11:17 PM
Does anyone know for sure if the SR-71 Blackbird capability's are still classified ?

posted on Dec, 24 2014 @ 01:09 AM
a reply to: Bloodydagger

The only thing still classified is where it flew, and even that is slowly coming out.

posted on Dec, 24 2014 @ 07:06 AM
The U-2 was given a life of about 4 years before the advancements in Soviet radar and missiles would shoot one down. Project Rainbow was an attempt to hide the U-2 but wasn't successful and Project Gusto was initiated,this was to be a high flying supersonic aircraft and design studies started in 1957 three years before Gary Powers shoot down in 1960.

The final design for the CIA was the A-12 which was not a test aircraft but a fully operational system, first flight 1962. Further developments of the A-12 resulted in the YF-12A Interceptor, first flight 1963 , then the M-21/ D-21 Drone and lastly the SR-71 Blackbird. Both the M-21/D-21 combo and the SR-71 first flight on the same day 22/12/1964.

The A-12 because it was light actually flew higher and faster than the SR-71. Bill Parkes took an A-12 to Mach 3.29 at 90,000 feet.

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