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SR-71 Blackbird at the Museum of Aviation

One of the greatest planes there at the Museum of Aviation in Georgia at Robins Air Force Base was the SR-71 Blackbird. It was the fastest aircraft ever built and remains so even today. It was built by Lockheed Martin and flew from 1966-1999 when it was retired.

It was a spy plane that flew at the edge of space at Mach 3.4 or 2,400 mph. It was shot at by missiles over 4,000 times but never hit as it would just accelerate away from them. It flew at up to 85,000 feet where the sky above them was black space with stars and the ground below was a sphere or curved they were so high.

The skin and frame of the plane was all light and expensive Titanium. This metal contracted at room temperature and the plane leaked fuel until the friction of high speed flight caused expansion tightened it up. It would take off and get up to semi speed and be refueled in the air by KC-135’s. The engines were so efficient at altitude that the faster the plane flew, the less fuel it used according to the pilots.  Pilots had to wear full body suits that looked like spacesuits with helmets attached to 100 % oxygen.

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Written by JessButtery

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