Declassified 1960s photos reveal the creation of the fastest plane ever built

Contributed by
Apr 29, 2019, 6:31 AM EDT (Updated)

We’ve already looked at how the cutting-edge engine makes this 1960s slice of awesome the fastest plane in history — and here's how the SR-71 Blackbird came together back in those classified days.

Sploid has compiled several declassified photos showing the construction of the experimental supersonic plane, which was built by Lockheed’s Skunk Works division in California back in the 1960s. Despite its age, the plane remains the fastest ever built, topping out at Mach 3.3 (2,193+ mph). It’s also one of the coolest-looking pieces of tech ever created. Seriously, just look at that thing.

Only 32 of the planes were ever built, and it remained in use for more than 30 years before being officially retired in 1999. These declassified photos chronicle the construction process to build the planes — not to mention most of the one-of-a-kind components to make it actually work.

You can see everything from the titanium panels that make up the plane’s exterior to the engines that process airflow to keep the thing running so insanely fast. Heck, this thing was so fast one of its evasive maneuvers in case of a missile attack was to literally outrun the missile. Whoosh.