"Blackbird" is one of the most famous reconnaissance aircraft in the history of mankind, not only because of the bizarre shape of the fuselage, but also because of the incredible speed that this aircraft is capable of gaining during flights. Although the SR-71 is no longer used by the CIA today, the aircraft is still one of the fastest on planet Earth. What is the secret of its speed?
The development of the Blackbird was completed in 1964. Then the car made its first flight. The aircraft entered service after a series of tests in 1966, joining the US CIA. In total, the Americans made 32 of these reconnaissance aircraft with a futuristic design. The latter was by no means dictated by the aesthetic preferences of the designers, but by a practical necessity - to reduce the aircraft's visibility for detection equipment.
The aircraft was actively used by the Americans during the Cold War between the blocs as an effective reconnaissance vehicle. Part of the SR-71 was based in Europe, part in Japan. The Soviet air defense often registered the fact of violation of the state border by this reconnaissance aircraft. True, every time the Blackbird was discovered, the plane immediately turned around and at full speed went back into its airspace. The SR-71 was especially actively used during the Arab-Israeli Yom Kippur War in 1973.
It never happened to shoot down the Blackbird, since the plane actively used a very effective anti-missile trick - going to super-altitude in the shortest possible time. In this he was helped by simply monstrous speed by the standards of the 1960s in Mach 3.2. The secret of such agility, of course, lay in the power plant used. The reconnaissance aircraft was powered by the J58 engine, which operated at subsonic and transonic speeds like a conventional turbojet. However, when it reached Mach 2, the J58 started operating as a ramjet engine. The design of the J58's power plant is still classified. Little is known about him. And most importantly, not a single country, including the Soviet Union, was able to replicate the unique design.
Continuing the topic, read about MiG-27: Soviet attack aircraft firing from a ship's cannon.