SR-71 Blackbird
      In 1957, plans were drawn up for a high flying reconnaissance spy plane, The CIA was the backer behind the project. They wanted something that could reach anywhere in the world in a matter of hours and have the photos lying on someone's desk by lunch. 
     The results was the SR-71 Blackbird or Habu.  It was capable of an altitude of 90,000 ft. and Mach 3.2+ speed, faster than a rifle bullet. In 1968, the first SR-71s went into service at Kadena, AFB in Okinawa, Japan.  The SR-71s also operated out of two other bases bases: Beale Air Force Base, California and Mindenthall, UK. Most of the missions were flown out of Kadena.
      The plane was tough to land.  Of the 32 Blackbirds built, 11 crashed on landing.  On the other hand, it was safe to fly. Over 1,000 attempts were made to shoot them down, but not a single plane was lost to enemy action or mechanical problems.  In 1968, a presidential order required that all molds and tools used to build the SR-71 be destroyed so that the plane could never be built by anyone again. This also meant that spare parts could not be made, so if there were any major problems, planes in storage would have to be cannibalized. In 1990,  the SR-71 fleet was decommissioned at Beale AFB. Five years later, three of the planes were returned to service, but it cost $140 million a year to keep them flying.  The Air Force felt the money could be better used, so the plane was taken out of service.