The first model of the SR-71 aircraft, newest long-range, advanced strategic reconnaissance system of the Free World weapons arsenal, has been received by the U.
The first model of the SR-71 aircraft, newest long-range, advanced strategic reconnaissance system of the Free World weapons arsenal, has been received by the U.S. Air Force.
The Air Force Systems Command delivered a SR-71B, a trainer version of the new lockheed - built aircraft, to the Strategic Air Command at Beale Air Force Base, California, today.
For training purposes, the SR-71B accommodates two pilots. The SR-71 A Model also carries a crew of two, a pilot and a reconnaissance systems officer.
Powered by two J 58 turbojet engines, the first engine to be flight qualified at Mach 3 for the Air Force, the SR-71 will be substantially heavier and have a longer range than the Air Force's new prototype YF-12A interceptor aircraft.
Capable of both pre-attack and post-attack strategic reconnaissance missions, the SR-71 will carry a wide variety of advanced observation equipment. Taking a 45-degree viewing angle on each side while flying at 2,000 miles per hour at an 80,000 footmaltitude, the SR-71 will be able to survey 60,000 square miles of land or ocean in each hour of operation. The new SR-71, with its advanced capabilities, will out-perform all previous reconnaissance aircraft.
In less than 2 years after the SR-71 program was initiated, the aircraft made its first flight at Palmdale, California, presenting an extremely short development span for an extensive and complicated weapon system. The aircraft exceeded 45,000 feet altitude and flew at 1,000 miles per hour under initial test flight restrictions. The test lasted about one hour and was completed without incident or problem.