SR-71


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 Reconnaissance 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.




Gorman Aviation Inc.
James L. (Jim) Gorman
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