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M-21 with D-21 Drone Side View

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 Product Description

This Aviation Collectible is exquisitely Framed with double mattes and comes in a 1 ½” Matte Black Frame, exclusively produced by Planejunkie.


Overall Size: 17.25" x 14.25"
Photo Size: 8" x 10"

Plane Type:M-21 and D-21 Drone (Modified SR-71) Under a classified CIA-sponsored project known as Tagboard, Lockheed developed the unmanned D-21 high-speed, high altitude reconnaissance drone. A modified, two-seat A-12 (re-designated M-21 for "mother" and carrying a reverse of the normal -12 designation) aircraft carried the D-21 (D for "daughter") aloft where the drone's ramjet engine would be ignited as it separated from the mothership at high Mach speeds. The first flight of the D-21/M-21 combination took place on 22 December 1964, but the first D-21 release from an M-21 did not occur until 5 March 1966. Two more launches were successful, but on 30 July 1966, a D-21 collided with the M-21 after release, destroying both aircraft and resulting in the death of one of the M-12's crew members. No further piggyback launches were attempted. A new launch system was then developed using a modified B-52H aircraft as the carrier. The D-21 program was cancelled in 1971 and declassified several years later. The nose and tail cones on the D-21 in this image were only used during early flight tests.

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