Any old jerk can wear a fancy ring, but how many people can say their bling was made from materials that once flew at mach 3.2+ on the famed Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird spy plane? Now that’s some provenance.
Built and designed in the 1960s after the A-12 Oxcart, the SR-71 Blackbird is still the fastest, most vanguardist air-breathing airplane in the history of aviation. These once classified photos reveal how Lockheed built both birds in secret, in California. They look taken at the Rebel base in Hoth.
No other plane in history has captured the hearts and minds of the American public quite like the SR-71 Blackbird, providing the West with an unprecedented look behind the Iron Curtain during its 33 year operational career. But before it was cracking the skies over Russia at mach 3.3, the Cold War spy plane had to…
On December 17, 1903, the Wright brothers flew the first airplane ever at 6.8 mph (10.9 km/h). Only 61 years and five days later, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird took off. It's still the world's fastest airplane with a speed of 2,193 mph (3,530 km/h.) This fascinating video explains its top secret engine technology.
The SR-71 Blackbird is, without a doubt, the most advanced airplane ever built in relation to the technology available at the time. It broke all aviation records, it flew incredible missions, and it became the stuff of legend. Lockheed Martin published its history in this collection of high resolution scans of old…
I still get the chills when I re-read Brian Shul's account of his Blackbird flight against enemy SAM batteries over Libya. Imagine yourself inside that tight SR-71 cockpit with all the alarms sounding. This cool 360-degree virtual reality view will help.
Gizmodo's Attila Nagy got this high resolution photo by Eric Schulzinger from Lockheed Martin: "This unaltered image was captured at Beale Air Force Base, CA, in the late 1980's. All of the subjects wearing pressurized flight suits are actual pilots or back-seat reconnaissance systems officers."
Not long ago Lockheed Martin posted on its Instagram account the most badass aviation photograph ever. Just look at it:
In X-Men: Days of Future Past, we don't spend a lot of time in the dystopic future that the plot revolves around preventing. And when we do, it's brutal. So this concept art of the future X-Jet from Henry Fong is great, because it gives us the chance to appreciate the things we missed.
I can tell you about the SR-71 Blackbird's titanium frame, its Pratt&Whitney J58-P4 engines, or its genesis. But that's not important. What really matters is the thrill of flying it in an extremely dangerous mission, as remembered by this pilot.—JD
This incredible photo of a SR-71 Blackbird being refueled in mid-air was taken by Sgt. P.A. Tubridy in 1988. It was the symbol of the United States' military power. It was the symbol of the country's incredible technological prowess. Now, it represents the future that we used to dream of—and make. A future that feels…
Aviation Week's Guy Norris has an exclusive article on the successor for the Lockheed Martin SR-71 Blackbird, the legendary spy plane that may be the favorite of every airplane nerd in the world. The hypersonic SR-72 is the first aircraft that can fit perfectly in Star Wars or Galactica, a true space age ship.
At the height of the Cold War, if you wanted a peek behind the Iron Curtain, it had to be a birds's eye view from 63,000 feet—above the reach of Soviet SAM batteries. And to fly that high, America's elite SR-71 pilots had to wear the most advanced flight suits this side of the Apollo program.
It's a well-worn cliche that moving to the big city after a lifetime of country-living can change you forever. That might actually be literally true for blackbirds, as moving to the city has begun to split their species in two.
Back in the late 80s, the United States and Libya were rabid enemies. This is the thrilling story of Brian Shul and his Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, as he zoomed through the skies of Qaddafi's country, dodging anti-aircraft missiles.—JD [Gizmodo]
A batch of new set pics from the set of Matthew Vaughan's X-Men: First Class reveal the filming of a crucial scene where disaster strikes mutantkind. Spoilery pics and speculation below.
So, you read Brian Shul's description of the thrill to fly the SR-71 Blackbird in a real mission over Lybia, and now you want to try it yourself. Well, no problem! First, you need its top secret flying manual.