Kit: LS (1985) Decals: 144Skunk works Team
Modeler: Supawat Putthitornworasit 'DEC 2015
December 1964 The SR-71 takes to the air for the first time from Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California. On 1 May 1960 a CIA U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union. The U-2 had been the United States premiere aerial reconnaissance aircraft, but because of its slow speed was viewed as vulnerable to modern surface-to-air systems. The CIA turned to Kelly Johnson and the Lockheed Skunk Works program for a new aircraft, that soon developed the A-12. The A-12 was a precursor to the SR-71, with the latter airframe capable of carrying a larger fuel and camera load. The SR-71 was designed for flight over Mach 3, and could carry two pilots in tandem cockpits, with the forward cockpit for the pilot and the rear cockpit for the Reconnaissance Systems Officer who operated the surveillance systems. The SR-71 remained in service throughout the Cold War, and was retired by the US Air Force in 1998 and NASA in 1999.