VSKYLABS’ SR-71 Blackbird

VSKYLABS’ Spyplane for X-Plane 12

Always looking to produce detailed models of stunning-looking unique aircraft, VSKYLABS has released its SR-71-TB Blackbird for X-Plane 12. We find out what it can be like to fly at over Mach 3 at more than 70,000ft.

The SR-71 is easily described as something out of Star Wars had it not been designed and built over 60 years ago.
The SR-71 is easily described as something out of Star Wars had it not been designed and built over 60 years ago. Peter Stark

Overcoming challenges

While now long retired, in part due to the astronomical operating costs and improvements in other technologies, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird still remains a futuristic-looking aircraft. It was preceded by the U2 spy plane, which was used in the Cold War era by the United States CIA to fly well into the stratosphere to gather intelligence. Lockheed’s ‘Skunk Works’ division already had some experience in developing top-secret projects and when a U2 was shot down over Soviet territory in 1960, Skunk Works was asked to build an aircraft that: “Can’t be shot down – and do it fast!” The initial response was the A12, which first flew at Groom Lake (Area 51) just two years later and what was learnt from the A12 was used to build the SR-71 Blackbird.

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