Aircraft Report: Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

So secretive that it was classified for the first 10 years of its existence, Lockheed's iconic aircraft could cruise on the edge of space and outpace incoming missiles. Even now, over 20 years after being retired from service, no manned aircraft has ever flown higher or faster.


On December 22, 1964 aviation history was made when Lockheed test pilot, Robert J “Bob” Gilliland, took off from Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California, in the company’s new SR-71A Blackbird long-range, high-altitude strategic reconnaissance aircraft.


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