Is the SR-72 real?

Is the SR-72 real?

Lockheed concept image of the SR-72 as envisioned in 2013.

The SR-72 is a proposed hypersonic aircraft, which is believed to be under development by Lockheed Martin. While there have been reports of the SR-72’s existence and development, Lockheed Martin has not officially confirmed or denied the project’s existence.

As a result, it remains unclear whether the SR-72 is real or not. However, it is worth noting that many experts believe that the technology required to build a hypersonic aircraft like the SR-72 is feasible and that such a project could be in development.

The SR-72 expects to reach speeds over 14,500 mph. In addition will become an “optionally piloted flight research vehicle” (FRV). Ie it will be able to fly with or without a human pilot.

Additionally, many expect the craft to have an estimated length of approximately 60ft.

Furthermore, the SR-72 might become equipped with one single, full-scale engine and the ability to move at “ease” for several minutes at a speed of Mach 6.

Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier on October 14, 1947 by hitting 1,650 mph in the Bell X-1. Moreover, we have progressed almost tenfold in 80 years.

Has it taken too long? Did the US government lose focus on supersonic technological progress?

The SR-71, a long-range, Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft operated by the United States Air Force from 1964 to 1998.

KC-135 and SR-71 during an "in-flight" re-fueling
An SR-71 refueling from a KC-135Q Stratotanker during a flight in 1983

The SR-71 was developed by Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works division, and the project began in the early 1960s.

The first SR-71 flight took place on December 22, 1964, at the Air Force’s Plant 42 in Palmdale, California.

Water vapor is condensed by the low-pressure vortices generated by the chines outboard of each engine inlet.

Designed to fly at high altitudes and speeds, using a combination of aerodynamics and powerful engines. It could fly at speeds of over 2,000 mph (Mach 3+), at altitudes of up to 85,000 feet, and could cover a range of more than 3,000 miles without refueling.

Primarily used for reconnaissance missions, gathering intelligence over hostile territory. It was operated by the United States Air Force and was used extensively during the Cold War.

SR-71 pilot in full flight suit

The SR-71 set many records during its operational life, including several speed and altitude records. In 1976, an SR-71 set the world record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft, reaching a speed of 2,193 mph (Mach 3.3).

Operation of the air inlets and flow through the propulsion system

The SR-71 became retired by the Air Force in 1998.

After nearly 35 years of service. Its retirement was due to several factors, including budget constraints, the development of new reconnaissance technologies, and the high cost of maintaining the aircraft.

Today, several SR-71s are on display in museums around the world, and the aircraft remains an iconic symbol of American aviation technology and military power.

Is the SR-72 real?