The SR-71 Blackbird

I’m not into the military, but I am interested in some military hardware. In person, I’ve seen what I believe to be the top three best-known “stealthy aircraft” in the U.S.

The B-2 Spirit Bomber at the Naval Base in Grand Prairie, TX in the early ‘90s – presented by then Texas Governor Ann Richards.

I’ve also seen several F-117 Nighthawks over White Sands in the mid-90s. That encounter was especially exciting because they were running training exercises.

The most up-close and personal experience was the SR-71 Blackbird at the National Air and Space Museum in the Smithsonian in 2017. (It was, for me, at least as exciting as seeing the Shuttle Discovery in person.)

I just saw on the Smithsonian Channel (Paramount+ service) that the Blackbird was originally called “Reconnaissance Strike”. When the plane’s existence was eventually revealed in a press conference by President Johnson, he called it the “SR-71” instead of “RS-71”. Instead of correcting the President, the military simply renamed the spy plane.

“SR-71 Blackbird” sounded better anyway.