Admiral Yamamoto infamously said "You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a man with a rifle behind every blade of grass."
And so it should be, a nation of riflemen....
They were next door to us in Okinawa. Stunning airplane!
Okinawa is where she got her nickname of "Habu".
I'll never forget the roar when those things took off. Always at night, and always moving faster than anything else I've ever seen. On the runway one minute, and the next? Gone & completely out of sight. Remarkable engineering achievement.
I've only seen one fly-by of her, and that was years ago at the Point Mugu airshow.When she came by, and the pilot hit the afterburners, it was like the sky had opened. You could see the shock diamonds in the exhaust plumes in bright daylight.And she was designed in the pre-computer days....nothing but slide rules, and very smart people.
One of my favorite aircraft. Knew some guys that designed some of the avionics, a factory rep that supported it at Groom Lake and a mechanic that was based at Guam. Some good stories. The avionics engineers did the autopilot on the L-1011. Dual-dual fail active with autoland.Also thought the D-21 drone was cool. There is (or was) one at the Warner Robins museum in Georgia. They also have an SR-71.
BTW, it is a Collins autopilot.
Keep it civil, please....