Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The successor to Lockheed Martin’s SR-71 Blackbird, the Mach 3 long-range recon aircraft that once tore across the skies like a Cold-War era arrowhead before its retirement in 1999, may be inching closer toward reality.

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Photo via Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General.

A joint effort by the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Department of Defense to modify a plane for counter-narcotics surveillance operations in Afghanistan never got off the ground; in fact, it never left the hangar. But it did leave a hefty bill: roughly $86 million in funding from the two agencies, according to The Washington Post — 10 times the aircraft’s original cost.

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U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Rose Reynolds

A crowd of U-2 Dragon Lady pilots gathered in Hangar M at Beale Air Force Base on Wednesday to welcome the newest member into their elite club and to celebrate a milestone.

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