The Insane Engineering of the SR-71 Blackbird (Video)

During the Cold War, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft represented the pinnacle of aviation innovation. Even now, we are still astonished by its overall design elements and performance attributes.
On April 30, 1962, the A-12, the original version of this aircraft, made its first flight. It then had just one seat. But only two years later, the SR-71, which was bigger, carried more fuel, and also featured a seat for the second pilot, or reconnaissance systems officer, was made available to the American military. It was also among the first aerial vehicles made to have a smaller radar cross-section, or, put another way, a smaller visibility to adversary radars.

At the time, no other aircraft had the Blackbird’s technical features. It flew one mile every 1.6 seconds at a speed of Mach 3.2, or over 4000 km/h, while operating at heights of about 26 kilometres. This aircraft holds the distinction of being the fastest air-breathing jet-powered manned aeroplane in history according to its capabilities. Interesting fact: This record is still held by the SR-71 Blackbird.

For a detailed account of the crazy engineering required to produce the engineering marvel of SR-71, view the video below:

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