Cool things with wheels since 2006
They were definitely the badasses of all aviation badasses. This was taken at Beale AFB CA. I was there when the SR's were being deactivated. That was a crying shame. The airframes were good, and could still be flying. The 9th was a part of Strategic Air Command, which didn't really want it because it cost as much to operate as a bomb wing but didn't drop bombs and most of the intel gathered went to other agencies. Add to that the General making the decision had been turned down for the SR in his younger years and you have the justification to chop up one of the greatest feats of aerospace engineering in history, and ship it off to sit in a museum.
THAT is some amazing insight! Thanks! I'd guess it would be accurate to say the wrong dept was in charge of the budget, and the CIA, NSA, FBI, etc should have been paying for it. Not the DOD. And wow, he was turned down for flying it, then was in charge of it, and no one suspected revenge when he killed it off? Yes, it was a huge waste of money to sit around museums... but, how much use was it to begin with? It, and the U2 were fine for cold war photos,... but, what sort of positive change could our county have had if that same budget was put into college education for free, for any high school grad with over a 3.2 gpa that wanted a degree, and would then get into engineering, science, and technology? I think, and I could be wrong, that the military budget in general has been a tremendous waste of money. Just what did we get for the 6 thousand dead and 14 years in Iraq, Afghanistan, and syria? I don't think we've gotten a thing. Ditto the Vietnam war, and 120k or so KIA, MIA, and god knows how many wounded and mentally scarred. Just what did Vietnam benefit the USA? Anyway, I admire the SR71's abilities, and design tech... as well as the Lockheed U2, but, I don't think the military budget resulted in as good a USA as putting those tax dollars into advanced education instead.