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SR-71 Blackbird

Officially still the fastest air-breathing airplane ever built, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird was to have been named RS-71 (Reconnaissance Strike 71), but President Lyndon B. Johnson botched the name during a press conference announcing the new type in July 1964. Look at the stealthy form: it’s in many ways the world’s first stealth aircraft. But its Mach 3.2 speed and powerful Pratt & Whitney J58 engines gave it a hell of a heat signature. Crew: 2. 32 built; 12 lost in accidents; 0 shot down. Retired by USAF in 1998.  Also pictured is the very similar A-12 Oxcart.

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