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X-Plane Gallery with people


A Big Piece of History … Just Hanging Around

A big piece of history … just hanging around.

The flown SR-71 Blackbird spy plane in our lobby reminds us of the epic engineering feats we build on as we look to the future of flight.

45 years ago today, two SR-71 planes set two momentous records:

  • One flew over 85,000 feet high.
    • That’s nearly the edge of space! At that height, stars are visible overhead at noon. In fact, the plane was programmed to navigate by the stars.
  • Another reached speeds of just over 2,193 miles per hour.
    • At that rate, you could fly from Hutchinson, Kansas to New York City in 35 minutes!

Get a first-hand account of what it was like to fly one of these amazing planes in our interview with SR-71 pilot Col. Buz Carpenter.

And of course, come to the Cosmosphere to enjoy the breathtaking sight of this marvel in person!