Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Look At Why The SR-71 Was Retired

Dave Majumdar, National Interest: SR-71: Why Is the World's Fastest Plane in a Museum?

Capable of cruising at speeds in excess of Mach 3.2, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird was the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft to ever to see operational service. But even though its performance has never been matched, the SR-71 was retired as the Cold War drew to a close.

The Blackbird was initially retired in 1990, even before the fall of the Soviet Union. Eventually, however, three of the jets were reactivated by the Air Force—at the insistence of Congress—for a brief period between 1995 and 1998. Meanwhile, NASA flew research missions with the aircraft until 1999. In the end, the Blackbird was retired without a true replacement. But why?

WNU Editor: Its always the same story ... something better comes around and the costs of maintaining older models no longer makes any sense.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One special bird! Another problem was the skin was so loose on takeoff, that an SR 71 néeded to be refueled after takeoff. A 250,000 per flight additional cost.