The Lockheed D-21 was a highly-advanced, remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) designed to carry out high-speed, high-altitude strategic reconnaissance missions over hostile territory. Developed by the famed Lockheed "Skunk Works” in the 1960s, the D-21 used technology from the A-12/YF-12/SR-71 “Blackbird” family of high-speed manned aircraft. Unlike the turbojet engines in the Blackbird, however, the D-21 was powered by a ramjet.
D-21Bs were used on four flights over communist China under the code name Senior Bowl, but none of these missions fully succeeded. The U.S. Air Force canceled the program in 1971 and put the remaining D-21s in storage. The D-21B on display came to the museum in 1993.
Engine: One Marquardt RJ43 ramjet of 12,000 lbs. thrust
Maximum speed: 2,000+ mph (Mach 3+)
Range: 3,000 miles
Ceiling: Approx. 95,000 feet
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