Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

SR-71 BlackbirdSR-71Lockheed SR-71Lockheed SR-71A BlackbirdSR-71A BlackbirdLockheed SR-71Aastro-inertial navigation systemBlackbirdRobert J. GillilandSR-71 "Blackbird
The Lockheed SR-71 "Blackbird" is a long-range, high-altitude, Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft that was operated by the United States Air Force.wikipedia
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Kelly Johnson (engineer)

Kelly JohnsonClarence "Kelly" JohnsonClarence Johnson
American aerospace engineer Clarence "Kelly" Johnson was responsible for many of the design's innovative concepts.
He is recognized for his contributions to a series of important aircraft designs, most notably the Lockheed U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird.

Skunk Works

Lockheed Skunk WorksLockheed Martin Skunk WorksAdvanced Development Programs
It was developed as a black project from the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft in the 1960s by Lockheed and its Skunk Works division.
Skunk Works is an official pseudonym for Lockheed Martin's Advanced Development Programs (ADP), formerly called Lockheed Advanced Development Projects. It is responsible for a number of aircraft designs, including the U-2, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk, Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, and the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, which are used in the air forces of several countries.

Lockheed YF-12

YF-12Lockheed YF-12AYF-12A
Since 1976, it has held the world record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft, a record previously held by the related Lockheed YF-12.
The YF-12 was a twin-seat version of the secret single-seat Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft, which led to the U.S. Air Force's Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird twin-seat reconnaissance variant.

Radar cross-section

radar cross sectionradar signatureRCS
The shape of the SR-71 was based on the A-12 which was one of the first aircraft to be designed with a reduced radar cross-section.
The SR-71 Blackbird and other planes were painted with a special "iron ball paint" that consisted of small metallic-coated balls.

Pratt & Whitney J58

J58J-58Pratt & Whitney JT11D-20B
The aircraft was meant to be powered by the Pratt & Whitney J58 engine, but development ran over schedule, and it was equipped instead with the less powerful Pratt & Whitney J75 initially.
The Pratt & Whitney J58 (company designation JT11D-20) was a jet engine that powered the Lockheed A-12, and subsequently the YF-12 and the SR-71 aircraft.

Lockheed A-12

A-12A-12 OXCARTLockheed M-21
It was developed as a black project from the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft in the 1960s by Lockheed and its Skunk Works division. The second operational aircraft designed around a stealth aircraft shape and materials, after the Lockheed A-12, the SR-71 had several features designed to reduce its radar signature.
It was the precursor to the twin-seat U.S. Air Force YF-12 prototype interceptor, M-21 launcher for the D-21 drone, and the SR-71 Blackbird, a slightly longer variant able to carry a heavier fuel and camera load.

Area 51

Groom LakeGroom Lake, NevadaArea 52
The A-12 first flew at Groom Lake (Area 51), Nevada, on 25 April 1962.
The A-12 had finally been allowed to deploy, and the SR-71 was soon to replace it.

Black project

blackblack programblack projects
It was developed as a black project from the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft in the 1960s by Lockheed and its Skunk Works division.

JP-7

Because of this, and the lack of a fuel-sealing system that could handle the airframe's expansion at extreme temperatures, the aircraft leaked JP-7 fuel on the ground prior to takeoff.
JP-7 is the fuel that was developed, which was required by the Pratt & Whitney J58 (JT11D-20) turbojet engine, which was used primarily in the now retired Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird.

Mach number

MachMach 2Mach 1
The Lockheed SR-71 "Blackbird" is a long-range, high-altitude, Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft that was operated by the United States Air Force.

Chine (aeronautics)

chinesChinechined
Originally named R-12 by Lockheed, the Air Force version was longer and heavier than the A-12, with a longer fuselage to hold more fuel, two seats in the cockpit, and reshaped chines. Drawing on early studies in radar stealth technology, which indicated that a shape with flattened, tapering sides would reflect most energy away from a radar beam's place of origin, engineers added chines and canted the vertical control surfaces inward.
Such chines first appeared on the Lockheed A-12 precursor of the SR-71 Blackbird, where they ran forward from the wing roots along the fuselage sides, into which they blended.

Inlet cone

shock coneinlet conesshock cones
At the front of each inlet, a pointed, movable cone called a "spike" (inlet cone) was locked in its full forward position on the ground and during subsonic flight.
Some turbojet aircraft including the Su-7, MiG-21, English Electric Lightning, and SR-71 also use an inlet cone.

Brian Shul

During one mission, SR-71 pilot Brian Shul flew faster than usual to avoid multiple interception attempts; afterward, it was discovered that this had reduced fuel consumption.
Surviving, he returned to full flight status, flying the SR-71 Blackbird.

Stealth aircraft

stealthstealth fighterstealth bomber
The second operational aircraft designed around a stealth aircraft shape and materials, after the Lockheed A-12, the SR-71 had several features designed to reduce its radar signature.

Stealth technology

stealthstealthyinvisible aircraft
Drawing on early studies in radar stealth technology, which indicated that a shape with flattened, tapering sides would reflect most energy away from a radar beam's place of origin, engineers added chines and canted the vertical control surfaces inward.
This method was first used on the Blackbird series: A-12, YF-12A, Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird.

Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker

KC-135 StratotankerKC-135KC-135R Stratotanker
Specialized KC-135Q tankers were required to refuel the SR-71.
The KC-135Q variant was modified to carry JP-7 fuel necessary for the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird by separating the JP-7 from the KC-135's own fuel supply (the body tanks carrying JP-7, and the wing tanks carrying JP-4 or JP-8).

Reconnaissance aircraft

reconnaissancereconnaissance planereconnaissance planes
The Lockheed SR-71 "Blackbird" is a long-range, high-altitude, Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft that was operated by the United States Air Force.
After World War II and during the Cold War the United States developed several dedicated reconnaissance aircraft designs, including the U-2 and SR-71, to monitor the nuclear threat from the Soviet Union.

Lockheed U-2

U-2U-2 spy planeTR-1
Lockheed's previous reconnaissance aircraft was the relatively slow U-2, designed for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
In June 1976, the U-2s of the 100 SRW were transferred to the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing (9 SRW) at Beale Air Force Base, California, and merged with SR-71 aircraft operations there.

North American XB-70 Valkyrie

XB-70 ValkyrieXB-70B-70 Valkyrie
The SR-71 designation is a continuation of the pre-1962 bomber series; the last aircraft built using the series was the XB-70 Valkyrie.
The development of the Lockheed U-2 and the SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft, as well as the XB-70, prompted Soviet aerospace engineers to design and develop their high-altitude and high-speed MiG-25 interceptor.

Flight airspeed record

air speed recordworld air speed recordworld speed record
Since 1976, it has held the world record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft, a record previously held by the related Lockheed YF-12.
The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird holds the official Air Speed Record for a manned airbreathing jet engine aircraft with a speed of 3,530 km/h (2,193 mph).

Aerial reconnaissance

reconnaissancephoto-reconnaissanceair reconnaissance
During aerial reconnaissance missions, the SR-71 operated at high speeds and altitudes to allow it to outrace threats.
The onset of the Cold War led to development of highly specialized and clandestine strategic reconnaissance aircraft, or spy planes, such as the Lockheed U-2 and its successor the SR-71 Blackbird (both from the United States).

Peripheral vision horizon display

Peripheral vision (horizon) display
As an aid to the pilot when refueling, the cockpit was fitted with a peripheral vision horizon display.
Initial production in 1983, however, was for the SR-71 Blackbird as an aid when refueling in the air.

Lockheed Corporation

LockheedLockheed Aircraft CorporationLockheed Aircraft
It was developed as a black project from the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft in the 1960s by Lockheed and its Skunk Works division.

Titanium

Tititanium oretitanian
On most aircraft, use of titanium was limited by the costs involved; it was generally used only in components exposed to the highest temperatures, such as exhaust fairings and the leading edges of wings.
Starting in the early 1950s, titanium came into use extensively in military aviation, particularly in high-performance jets, starting with aircraft such as the F-100 Super Sabre and Lockheed A-12 and SR-71.

Triethylborane

TEBpyrophoric chemicals
To start the engines, triethylborane (TEB), which ignites on contact with air, was injected to produce temperatures high enough to ignite the JP-7.
Triethylborane was used to ignite the JP-7 fuel in the Pratt & Whitney J58 turbojet/ramjet engines powering the Lockheed SR-71, and its predecessor A-12 OXCART.