The Blackbird at Cruising Speed

Brian Shul in front of an SR-71.

Brian Shul in front of an SR-71.

A flock of Blackbirds.

A flock of Blackbirds.

US Air Force Major Brian Shul flew the SR-71 spyplane, nicknamed the Blackbird.

The coolest plane ever. Hands down.

The SR-71 flew faster and higher than any other plane. How fast? Shul says in Vice magazine, “‚ÄčThe Blackbird easily flew at over 2,000 miles per hour. You were doing a mile every two seconds, or faster. The jet always wanted to go faster, so you had to hold it back. It was at three times the speed of sound when we were cruising.”

In 26 years, the nice folks in Russia, China, and elsewhere fired over 4,000 missiles at SR-71s. They never scored a hit.

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