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SR-71 Facts: 29 Details That Might Surprise You

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Three Different Nose Cones

SR-71 Facts
U.S. Air Force

The nose cone detached and three different cones were used for three different purposes of the SR-71. One cone was¬†meant for training and didn’t have any expensive material inside of the nose – just weights to simulate a real mission. One cone housed the radar unit and the other cone housed the Optical Bar Camera, which surveyed the Earth in massive proportions. This interchangeability gave the U.S. flexibility on the ground, depending on which mission was needed.