If the key to the survival of the U-2 was access, which was beyond the capabilities of its generation fighters, another aircraft from "Skunk Works" was to have, in addition to fantastic access, a speed that designers had never dreamed of until then. In addition to increasing speed, the designers in the construction of the new aircraft for the first time ever purposefully focused on reducing the effective RCS. This miracle technique was called the A-12 Blackbird.
There are only a few states in the world that have been able to develop their own flying Airborne Early Warning (AEW) system. And even fewer are those who have successfully sold it to foreign users. Sweden has succeeded. Although the Erieye system was developed for a different world than it is today, it eventually became a successful export item.
After a while, we return to the aircrafts of early warning. This time we will dig further into history, to the time of the Cold War. To a country that, at the cost of ruining its own economy, kept spinning new rounds of arms races. One of the relatively expensive programs was the development of early warning aircraft and related AA systems.
After a relatively difficult period, when first looking for a suitable carrier and then debugged technical shortcomings, the "L division" got into service as the Tu-126. What was the service on the Tu-126 and what tasks the crews performed is the content of the following lines.
Dogfights have always attracted attention. Since the First World War, their participants have been considered heroes, stories have been written about nothing, and they have become idols of generations. However, the reality of air combat is much more prosaic. Whatever the motivation of the pilots to fight, there was always a winner on one side and a loser on the other in a crippled or burning plane falling to the ground. This series deals with the struggle from their beginning to the modern age, when the sky is steadily ruled by jet engines.
Screen planes are a special type of vehicle that uses the ground effect. It is a machine on the border between an aircraft and a wing speedboat. The question is whether it is a low-flying aircraft or a ship "floating" just above the surface. Even users have been arguing for a long time where and under whose command they should belong. Whether under the Navy or under the Air Force.
The famous performance of the A-12 aircraft led USAF representatives to order the most famous variant from the Blackbird family, the strategic reconnaissance aircraft SR-71. These aircraft then provided good services to the USAF for three decades and brought a lot of valuable intelligence to the commanders of air and ground units.
SR-71 aircraft were the pinnacle of technological possibilities of their time. This corresponded to the demands on flying and ground personnel and the overall security of air traffic. There was nothing that could be compared to the aircraft of previous generations.