posted on Mar, 26 2005 @ 09:20 AM
The window you probably can see is the Reconnaissance Systems Officers position, which was included as part of the SR-71 series, or a second pilots
seat for training. The type of SR-71 without a SRO position are actually converted A-12 aircraft, built for the Oxcart program for the CIA which flew
with only the pilot.
The SR-71 program grew out of the A-12 program simply as a matter of course. The CIA intelligence program was not accessable to the USAF so they
purchased a number of A-12 articles of their own, starting the SR-71 primarily as a Recon/Strike variant.
The first SR-71, essentially a modified A-12 article, flew on December 22nd, 1964. The main difference between the SR-71 proper and the A-12
conversions being the addition of the SRO position behind the pilot.
The major types of Blackbird are:
YF-12 - initial development version
A-12 - initial production version
M-21 - carrier for the D-21 drone
A-12A - 2 seat trainer version
AF-12 - initial concept redesign to produce the SR-71 as a strike aircraft
RB-12 - bomber version of AF-12
YF-12A - 'non black' AF-12 designation
SR-71 - initial production version
SR-71A - production version including SRO position
SR-71B - primarily a two seat pilot trainer, but for some reason some standard 'B's were produced with pilot and SRO positions
SR-71C - two seat pilot trainer
[edit on 26/3/2005 by RichardPrice]