This article is about the United States reconnaissance jet. For other uses of 'Blackbird', see Blackbird (disambiguation).
The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird was a Mach 3+ reconnaissance aircraft designed by Clarence L "Kelly" Johnson at Lockheed's "Skunk Works" plant in the late 1950's, the Blackbird served until 1989. In 1994, the program was reactivated under NASA, and the aircraft continued to fly until 1999.
Many consider the SR-71 Blackbird to be the finest military aircraft ever produced, and Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara inexplicably ordered destruction of its plans, which prevented further manufacturer of it.
After the bombing of Libya in April 1986 (Operation El Dorado Canyon), two Blackbirds flew a mission to collect post-strike intelligence. It was the first time that two SR-71s flew a joint mission.
|Function||High-speed, high altitude reconnaissance aircraft|
|Power plant||Two Pratt & Whitney J58-1 continuous-bleed afterburning turbojets with 32,500 lbf (145 kN) each|
|Length||107 feet, 6 inches|
|Height||18 feet, 6 inches|
|Maximum speed||Mach 3.2 at 70,000 ft|
|Wingspan||55 feet, 7 inches|
|Empty weight||67,500 pounds|
|Maximum Weight||172,000 pounds|
|Crew||Two: a pilot and a radar officer|
|Range||2,900 nautical miles|