Overflying China: How converted A-12s launched supersonic drones

 

ARTWORK: IAN BOTT

The Lockheed D-21

A low-radar cross-section reconnaissance drone designed to fly 3,000nm missions at speeds in excess of Mach 3 and altitudes up to 96,000ft on a pre-programmed track

Drones have become familiar tools in the 21st century. Most, however, are subsonic. The Lockheed D-21 was a rare supersonic reconnaissance drone, from the era when the US military-industrial complex undertook exceptional technological projects.

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