Whether it's Edwards Air Force Base, NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, the Mojave Air and Space Port, the Southern California Logistics Airport, or elsewhere in the area, the desert almost seems to breathe aviation. This summer on Road Trip 2012, and during previous forays to the area, CNET reporter Daniel Terdiman took in some of the best the area has offered the world -- and it is a world-class list.
This is the Lockheed SR-71, a Mach 3 reconnaissance aircraft, located at the Air Force Test Flight Center Museum, at Edwards Air Force Base. According to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, "No reconnaissance aircraft in history has operated in more hostile airspace or with such complete impunity than the SR-71 Blackbird. It is the fastest aircraft propelled by air-breathing engines. The Blackbird's performance and operational achievements placed it at the pinnacle of aviation technology developments during the Cold War. The airplane was conceived when tensions with communist Eastern Europe reached levels approaching a full-blown crisis in the mid-1950s. U.S. military commanders desperately needed accurate assessments of Soviet worldwide military deployments, particularly near the Iron Curtain," and the existing U-2 was too slow to do the job.
July 28, 2012 4:00 AM PDT
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET
| Caption by: Daniel Terdiman
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