Lockheed A-12

Lockheed A-12

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Prva muha26 April 1962

V Lockheed A-12 was a reconnaissance aircraft built for the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) by Lockheed’s Skunk Works, based on the designs of Clarence “Kelly” Johnson. The aircraft was designated A-12, the 12th in a series of internal design efforts for “Archangel”, the aircraft’s internal code name. It competed in the CIA’s “Oxcart” program against the Convair Kingfish proposal in 1959, and won for a variety of reasons.

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Osprey Publications - Crickmore
Lockheed A-12 The CIA’s Blackbird and other variants
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The Lockheed A-12 was a high-altitude, Mach 3+ reconnaissance aircraft developed by the Skunk Works division of Lockheed Corporation for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the 1960s. It was the precursor to the SR-71 Blackbird, and was designed to be virtually invisible to radar and other detection methods. The A-12 was capable of flying at speeds of over 2,200 miles per hour (3,540 km/h) and altitudes of over 85,000 feet (26,000 m), making it one of the fastest and highest-flying aircraft ever built. The A-12 was also equipped with sophisticated cameras and sensors that could capture detailed images and data from enemy territory.
The A-12 was a highly classified project that involved many technological innovations and challenges. Only 15 A-12s were ever built, and they were operated by a select group of CIA pilots under the code name OXCART. The A-12 flew its first mission in May 1967 over North Vietnam, and its last mission in May 1968 over North Korea. The A-12 was retired in 1968, and replaced by the SR-71 in the Air Force. The A-12 remains one of the most remarkable achievements in aviation history, and a testament to the ingenuity and skill of the Skunk Works team.

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