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SR-71 Facts: 29 Details That Might Surprise You

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“The Country’s Camera”

SR-71 Facts
National Electronics Museum

The large Optical Bar Camera held inside the nose cone used during photo recon missions was referred to as “The Country’s Camera”. This machine took a photo 72 miles wide, about as wide as the entire state of Vermont. The Optical Bar Camera was produced by Itek, and also used in other aircraft like the U-2 Dragon Lady and the A-12. Part of the nose cone designed for this camera had a glass strip on the underside of the nose cone that allowed the camera to look below to take images.