Here Are 20 Cool Facts About SR-71 Blackbird That You Probably Did Not Know Before


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SR-71 Blackbird’s first test flight was slated for 22nd December, 1964 and since it has been a little more than 50 years, we think you all should know these 20 facts that pertain to this amazing spy plane.

20. Even though it hasn’t flown in 15 years, it’s still the official record holder for fastest manned jet-powered aircraft.20 Facts You Don’t Know About SR-71 Blackbird 20

19. And it set the record with only one engine.20 Facts You Don’t Know About SR-71 Blackbird 19

18. It’s even more powerful than you think.20 Facts You Don’t Know About SR-71 Blackbird 18

Each of the Blackbird’s twin Pratt & Whitney J58 jet engines can crank out 34,000 pounds of thrust. It has about the same power as an ocean liner.

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17. Those cones in front of the engines are essentially the throttle control.20 Facts You Don’t Know About SR-71 Blackbird 17

16. You could start the jets with a couple of Buicks.20 Facts You Don’t Know About SR-71 Blackbird 16

15. It’s larger than it looks.20 Facts You Don’t Know About SR-71 Blackbird 15

It is over 105ft long.

14. It’s so heavy that it needs a parachute and special tires to land.20 Facts You Don’t Know About SR-71 Blackbird 14

13. The SR-71 isn’t the only Blackbird.20 Facts You Don’t Know About SR-71 Blackbird 13

A-12 was operated by CIA and is a predecessor to the SR-71.

12. There was also a variant intended as an interceptor.20 Facts You Don’t Know About SR-71 Blackbird 12

11. The A-12’s design evaluation team was headed by the founder of Polaroid – Dr. Edwin Land20 Facts You Don’t Know About SR-71 Blackbird 11

10. All A-12s and the first SR-71s were tested at Area 51.20 Facts You Don’t Know About SR-71 Blackbird 10

9. The SR-71 couldn’t be shot down.20 Facts You Don’t Know About SR-71 Blackbird 9

More than 1,000 missiles have tried over the course of plane’s service.

8. It could photograph an entire swath of North Korea in seven minutes.

A left side view of an SR-71 aircraft moving toward a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft for inflight refueling.  The SR-71 is from the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing.
A left side view of an SR-71 aircraft moving toward a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft for inflight refueling. The SR-71 is from the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing.

7. To even be allowed to work on the plane as a crew member, you had to be married.20 Facts You Don’t Know About SR-71 Blackbird 7

6. While the plane’s details and its missions were extremely sensitive, the plane itself wasn’t really a secret.20 Facts You Don’t Know About SR-71 Blackbird 6

President Johnson announced the existence of a 2,000 mph plane publicly in February 1964.

5. It was called the RS-71 until LBJ said the plane’s name wrong in his announcement.20 Facts You Don’t Know About SR-71 Blackbird 5

4. The first official flight of the new SR-71 was on December 22nd 1964.20 Facts You Don’t Know About SR-71 Blackbird 4

3. Over 60 pounds worth of black paint is used because black helps dissipate heat better than other colors.20 Facts You Don’t Know About SR-71 Blackbird 3

2. The cockpit windows are covered in quartz.20 Facts You Don’t Know About SR-71 Blackbird 2

1. The flight suit was just as complex as the rest of the plane.20 Facts You Don’t Know About SR-71 Blackbird

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Comments 5

  1. You forgot one of the most important things and interesting is that it leaks when its on the ground it has to be in air so the metal can contract to where I can hold the field

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Here Are 20 Cool Facts About SR-71 Blackbird That You Probably Did Not Know Before

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