Lockheed’s A-12, precursor to the SR-71 Blackbird, provided crucial US intelligence over Asia 1963-68.


  1. Cockpit reached 260 degrees Celsius.
  2. Pilots wore refrigerated space suits.
  3. A mission over Hanoi showcased its speed and stealth capabilities against Soviet-built S-75 missiles.
  4. Despite its brief operational life, the A-12 influenced U.S. decisions during the Vietnam War and geopolitical events.