Revealed: rare historic insights into the YF-12A and SR-71

“I unreservedly describe them as the most thrilling birds in the sky today,” was how legendary aviation writer Bill Gunston described the YF-12A and SR-71 in the March 1974 issue of Aeroplane Monthly. Read his article here…

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Photo: Key Collection

Most readers of Aeroplane Monthly will have read about the two members of the Blackbird family: the A-11, later called the YF-12A interceptor, and the SR-71A reconnaissance aircraft. They will probably recall that the world speed record set in 1965 by a YF-12A has never been beaten. But unless they have had some personal acquaintance with the programme they are unlikely to realise just what these aircraft are like. I unreservedly describe them as the most thrilling birds in the sky today, even though they are beginning to assume the role of venerable old stagers. Indeed it is hard to write about them without getting carried away by superlatives. They are just TREMENDOUS!

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