reconnaissance aircraft

SR-71 RSO recalls when USAF Chief of Staff warned Lockheed that trying to avoid SR-71 retirement would hurt chances to win the F-22 contract (and tells true story behind Blackbird retirement)

SR-71 RSO recalls when USAF Chief of Staff warned Lockheed that trying to avoid SR-71 retirement would hurt chances to win the F-22 contract (and tells true story behind Blackbird retirement)

The Blackbird The SR-71, unofficially known as the "Blackbird," is a long-range, advanced, strategic reconnaissance aircraft developed from the Lockheed… Read More

7 days ago

The story of the USAF RB-66 shot down by Soviet MiG-19s after it strayed into East German airspace

The hottest 'battlefield' of the Cold War Divided in two for decades between the late 1940s and early 1990s, Germany… Read More

5 months ago

The English Electric Canberra P.12: the story of the RAF all-weather fighter that never was

The RAF English Electric Canberra The Canberra was the first jet-powered bomber to enter service with the Royal Air Force… Read More

8 months ago

The Me 163 that intercepted a Spitfire PR XI but failed to engage because the rocket powered fighter ran out of fuel just as its pilot was about to commence his attack

Spitfire PR XI The Mark XI was essentially a Mark IX Spitfire interceptor modified for photographic reconnaissance (PR) with cameras,… Read More

11 months ago

Did you know the solid quartz glass of the canopy of the SR-71 Blackbird cockpit was 1.25 inches thick and was hot to the touch from the inside?

SR-71 Blackbird Pilots and RSOs, even with gloves on, couldn’t keep their hands by the glass for more than a… Read More

1 year ago

Video shows Chinese Navy J-11 fighter jet flying within 20 feet of USAF RC-135 reconnaissance plane

The Chinese Navy J-11 pilot flew an unsafe maneuver by flying in front of and within 20 feet of the… Read More

1 year ago

Russian Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker fighter jet fires missile near RAF RC-135W Rivet Joint reconnaissance aircraft

On Sep. 29 a Russian Sukhoi Su-27 (NATO reporting name: Flanker) fighter jet “released a missile” near a British RC-135… Read More

2 years ago

U-2 pilot describes how Carmine Vito, the only U-2 pilot to fly over Moscow, almost bit his poison cyanide pill in half while flying over Soviet Union

‘He started to suck on it. Luckily, he realized his mistake in a split second and spit it out in… Read More

2 years ago

“We could have gone faster.” SR-71 Blackbird crew members recall the Inlet Unstart that prevented them to go Faster than Mach 3.2 during the Absolute Speed Record run

‘Al and I had the ACTUAL speed record. 2200 indicated in our equipment aboard 958! Theirs.... 2193....NAH!,’ Lt. Col. George… Read More

2 years ago

How the iconic U-2 got its name: Test Pilot Tony LeVier gave Kelly Johnson the finger, Johnson returned giving LeVier the finger and yelled, “U-2”!

During the first flight at the Ranch, Kelly Johnson was on the radio telling Tony LeVier how to land the… Read More

2 years ago

U-2 flies last Optical Bar Camera mission, but Dragon Lady pilots will retain the knowledge and skills to employ the sensor

The Optical Bar Camera mission, which captures daylight acquisition of high-altitude photographs, will transition to forward operating locations supported by… Read More

2 years ago

RB-36 Crew Member recalls when his Peacemaker Pilot did a Chandelle Maneuver on Takeoff during an Airshow and, on a separate occasion, did an Emergency Landing with a Loose Flap

‘During my three years at Ellsworth Air Force Ease I had two events that I call outstanding,’ A/1C Ralph Whitaker… Read More

2 years ago

SR-71 Pilot tells the story of when his Blackbird flew So Fast that He and his RSO Landed at Beale AFB almost a Day Before They Took Off from Kadena AB

‘I am really tired of hearing the “LA speed story” so I thought I would relay a mission that gives… Read More

2 years ago

Did you know the navigator’s station in Canberra PR.9 was one of the most uncomfortable crew stations ever designed?

The Canberra PR.9 incorporated a hinged nose for access to the navigator’s station which included an ejection seat. The English… Read More

3 years ago

In 1985 an SH 37 Viggen in reconnaissance mission performed aerobatic manoeuvres at low altitude to shake off two Soviet Su-15s. One of the Flagons crashed.

Royal Swedish Air Force commander Lt.-Gen. Sven-Olof Olson officially expressed his regret about the incident. However, the Soviet Union did… Read More

3 years ago

Naval Aviator explains why the Iconic Vigilante is his favorite US Navy Aircraft

‘The “Viggie” was fast as stink - Mach 2 at altitude - and I always felt it was just a… Read More

4 years ago

The True Story Behind the Famous Sequence of Thirteen Days Movie featuring the RF-8 Crusader Low-Level High Speed Run Over Cuba during the Missile Crisis

Recovering at Jacksonville after a mission, each Crusader would receive another 'dead chicken' marking below its cockpit to denote the… Read More

5 years ago