Married? That Was a Requirement to Fly This CIA Plane

The SR-71 Blackbird remains the fastest operational military aircraft in history to this day, despite leaving service more than two decades ago, but its Lockheed predecessor in the A-12 was actually faster.
The A-12 that would ultimately lead to the missile-packing Mach 3 interceptor YF-12 and the missile-defeating legend that is the SR-71 first took to the skies in 1962 under the CIA’s banner in what was dubbed Project Oxcart. All three of these efforts were highly classified, not only because of the advanced technology Lockheed was developing, but also because–unbeknownst to Moscow–the United States was secretly sourcing materials to build these jets from within the Soviet Union,
In his book, “Archangel: CIA’s Supersonic A-12 Reconnaissance Aircraft,” official CIA historian David Robarge offers incredible insight into the Oxcart program, as well as what it took to be chosen to fly America’s highly classified, outrageously fast, and incredibly dangerous new platforms.
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