The U.S. Air Force has awarded Air Medals to four Swedish air force pilots in recognition of their decisive actions during a once-classified encounter with a crippled SR-71 Blackbird during the waning years of the Cold War.

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Twitter/Fighterman_FFRC

If there is one thing that has remained a constant since the first Top Gun screamed into theaters three decades ago, it's Tom Cruise's need for speed.

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A retired Air Force pilot who flew the SR-71 Blackbird recently told the Pensacola News Journal what it was like to fly the legendary aircraft that can cruise at three times the speed of sound.

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The SR-71 Blackbird spy plane is the fastest and highest-flying production aircraft to ever hit the skies.

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Flickr/Plane Bricks

The SR-71 Blackbird is a legend, a spy plane that has captured imaginations since it first went Mach 3.5 over Soviet spymasters in the 1960s; you may recognize its distinct profile from spy flicks, espionage novels, and in multiple Marvel universe movies as the X Men's chief mode of transport.

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DoD/Wikimedia Commons

Boeing recently unveiled a conceptual model for a new hypersonic jet that would replace the SR-71 Blackbird, according to Aviation Week Aerospace Daily.

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