7 wild photos of the SR-71 Blackbird’s afterburners in action

sr-71 spy plane

The SR-71 Blackbird spy plane is the fastest and highest-flying production aircraft to ever hit the skies.

Despite the US Air Force officially retiring the Blackbird in 1990 (although NASA would use two of them for research in that decade), it remains to this day one of the most popular and captivating aircraft.

The SR-71 was developed in the early 1960’s in response to two U-2 spy planes getting shot down — one over the Soviet Union and one over Cuba.

Thousands of missiles would be fired at Blackbirds during the 24 years it was in service, but the US never lost one because of its incredible speed.

Check out the photos below:

SEE ALSO: 15 photos of the MiG-31, the Russian fighter jet that can chase away SR-71 Blackbirds

SEE ALSO: NASA just dropped a ton of rare footage of SR-71 Blackbirds doing what they do best

The SR-71 Blackbird was powered by two Pratt & Whitney J58 axial-flow turbojet engines.

Source: US Air Force

Each engine gave the Blackbird 32,500 pounds of thrust.

Source: US Air Force

The Blackbird had a maximum speed of Mach 3+, which is more than 2,000 mph or three times the speed of sound.

Source: US Air Force

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Source:: Business Insider


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