BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- An air-to-air overhead front view of an SR-71A strategic reconnaissance aircraft. The SR-71, unofficially known as the "Blackbird," is a long-range, advanced, strategic reconnaissance aircraft developed from the Lockheed A-12 and YF-12A aircraft. The U.S. Air Force retired its fleet of SR-71s on Jan. 26, 1990, but returned them in 1995 until January 1997. Throughout its nearly 24-year career, the SR-71 remained the world's fastest and highest-flying operational aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Haggerty)
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