How long before we could see the fastest plane ever, SR-72 ‘Son of Blackbird’ in active service

  • The supersonic plane is designed to reach Mach 6 speed
  • It can also carry hypersonic missiles and perform strike missions
  • Lockheed Martin has been developing the SR-72 since 2013

Published on May 14, 2024 at 5:11 PM (UTC+4)
by Nalin Rawat

Last updated on May 24, 2024 at 6:44 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

The last time we saw the SR-72 supersonic plane was in the recent Top Gun: Maverick movie.

Is the supersonic plane a real thing or a fictional aircraft that we will just have to imagine?

And when will the successor to the world’s fastest plane ‘Son of Blackbird’ enter active service?

READ MORE! No one can believe SR-71 Blackbird’s tiny cockpit given its supersonic speed

The SR-72 has been in development by Lockheed Martin Skunk Works since 2013.

The supersonic plane is expected to go around Mach 6 speed.

However, at Mach 5 aerodynamic heating creates temperatures hot enough to melt any metallic aircraft.

So engineers will have to work with composites such as high-performance carbon, ceramic, and metal mixes.

It is hard to guess when the aircraft will enter service if it does at all.

The development of a demonstrator was planned as soon as 2018 with the first flight scheduled for 2023.

Since the Skunk Works team is known for their secrecy, there’s still no word on whether the flight happened or not.

Even the fake SR-72 Darkstar used in Top Gun: Maverick looked so real that China used a satellite to spy on it.

While the SR-71 Blackbird was used to take pictures, its successor would also be capable of strike missions.

Since its initial reveal in 2013, Lockheed Martin has also added an unmanned option to the SR-72.

According to the manufacturer. they have plans to test-fly the aircraft in 2025, with entry into service in 2030.

Being the successor to the legendary SR-71 Blackbird, the aircraft will have to fill some big shoes.

However, the development of an advanced aircraft can face significant delays, if not outright cancellations.

So let’s hope that we can one day see the SR-72 ‘Son of Blackbird’ in its full glory.


Nalin Rawat

Nalin started his career by working with various national newspapers in India. He has also worked as a writer/editor for many popular websites, while still pursuing his journalism and mass communication degree. Working as a digital nomad has allowed him to inform and educate through his work. When he is not writing, you can find him playing video games or travelling the mountains on his bike.