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

20 Facts You Don’t Know About SR-71 Blackbird featured

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.

19. And it set the record with only one engine.

18. It’s even more powerful than you think.

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.

17. Those cones in front of the engines are essentially the throttle control.

16. You could start the jets with a couple of Buicks.

15. It’s larger than it looks.

It is over 105ft long.

14. It’s so heavy that it needs a parachute and special tires to land.

13. The SR-71 isn’t the only Blackbird.

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

12. There was also a variant intended as an interceptor.

11. The A-12’s design evaluation team was headed by the founder of Polaroid – Dr. Edwin Land

10. All A-12s and the first SR-71s were tested at Area 51.

9. The SR-71 couldn’t be shot down.

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.

7. To even be allowed to work on the plane as a crew member, you had to be married.

6. While the plane’s details and its missions were extremely sensitive, the plane itself wasn’t really a secret.

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.

4. The first official flight of the new SR-71 was on December 22nd 1964.

3. Over 60 pounds worth of black paint is used because black helps dissipate heat better than other colors.

2. The cockpit windows are covered in quartz.

1. The flight suit was just as complex as the rest of the plane.

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