Tag Archive: spy plane


U-2 In HD

 

 

      52 years ago this week , the U-2 spy plane took photos of Russian missiles being installed in Cuba thus initiating the “Cuban Missile Crisis ” and bringing the world as close to nuclear annihilation as it has ever come .

Flying The World’s Fastest Plane: Behind The Stick Of The SR-71

 

 

 

 

” The Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird” is the fastest jet ever built, a machine so far ahead of its time even its own pilots thought it looked more like a spaceship than an airplane. It is an engineering marvel, powered by innovative engines that operated most efficiently at Mach 3.2, its typical cruising speed. From 1966 to 1998, it operated in secrecy, flown only by a handful of the Air Force’s most elite pilots. Rick McCrary was one of them.

  SH: How did you end up flying that thing?

  RM: Well, I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a lot of luck involved. I entered the Air Force in 1970, and was accepted for pilot training. After I completed that, I was a pilot instructor for about five years in the T-38, the supersonic trainer the Air Force still uses to this day. Subsequent to that I flew the F/B-11, the Aardvark, up at Pease AFB, New Hampshire. Then I was actually on nuke alert up there when I got a phone call from a fella I flew T-38s with who asked if I was interested in “a new position.” I was due to rotate, so I said sure.

  I was anticipating a desk job, which is just part of the rotation cycle as an Air Force officer. I can’t say I was looking forward to it. He said that he’d been out with the SR-71 program, and that they were looking for a pilot. Of course, that was an easy answer. They said, “Well, why don’t you come out and have a look,” so when I got off alert that tour I flew out to Sacramento and drove up to Beale AFB to meet everyone.”

 

Lots more of the interview and pictures here . Enjoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hypersonic Successor To Legendary SR-71 Blackbird Spy Plane Unveiled

 

 

 

 

 

” Lockheed Martin’s famed Skunk Works has finally unveiled the long-awaited successor to the SR-71 Blackbird. Aviation Week and Space Technology’s Guy Norris pulled the covers off the project that Lockheed Martin is simply calling the SR-72. The new airplane will be roughly the same size as the record-setting Blackbird, but will be able to fly twice as fast as the jet that still holds the speed records.

The new spy plane will be capable of Mach 6 cruise speeds, making it the first hypersonic aircraft to enter service should it be produced. Only the rocket-powered North American X-15 was able to regularly fly those speeds, and the three examples built were used for research. The SR-71 Blackbird is legendary in aviation circles for its Mach 3 capabilities, and different iterations served as a spy plane for 35 years until its retirement in 1998. It still holds several records, including a flight from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. in 64 minutes, 20 seconds.

The new SR-72 has long been rumored and debated, and is part of the U.S. Air Force’s plan for hypersonic capabilities that will allow fast reaction for gathering intelligence around the world. A Mach 6 airplane fills the gap between current surveillance aircraft that can loiter for long periods of time, but don’t have the ability to transit to a new area quickly. The SR-72 is also expected to have optional strike capabilities, according to Aviation Week.”