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This hypersonic blackbird can launch weapons from space.

In aviation, it doesn't get more chic than the SK-71 Blackbird; the Rolls Royce of the sky. From 1964 until its retirement in 1998, this supersonic, Mach 3+ reconnaissance (a.k.a, spy) aircraft played a crucial role in the Cold War (and afterward) for over three decades. It also holds the world record for fastest air-breathing manned aircraft--naturally, since its standard procedure for evading missiles was Hying faster. But ever since the Blackbird went to the Boca Raton of the skies, aviation buffs have been pining for a successor. And now they have one--the aptly named SR-72 Blackbird. The SR-72, unlike the SR-71, will be a strike platform, capable of launching weapons from the edge of space.

By Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor

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Author:Lomberg, Jason
Publication:ECN-Electronic Component News
Date:Dec 1, 2013
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