765px-Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

A Blackbird in flight of the Sierra Nevada mountains in 1994


The SR-71 was an advanded long-range strategic reconnaissance aircraft developed by Lockheed as a successor to the Lockheed A-12.

During operations the SR-71 was to operate at high-altitudes and high-speeds to redcue the risk of detection or engagement as it was defenseless, if SAM launches were targeted against the Blackbird its standard course of action was simply to accelerate and out-run the missile.

Before its retirement in 1988, 12 out of the 32 aircraft made were lost to accidents and in its whole 22 years of service, none were lost to enemy fire.