Lockheed SR-72 Hypersonic Reconnaissance Drone (2014)
About the Design
After the legendary SR-71 "Blackbird" was retired in 1999, aircraft aficionados wondered how the U.S. Air Force and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) would fill the void. Would satellites be sufficient?
Finally, in late 2013, Lockheed Aircraft announced it was developing the long-awaited successor to its legendary supersonic reconnaissance aircraft. Fittingly dubbed the SR-72, it's being pitched as a Mach 6 hypersonic aircraft capable of both recon and combat missions.
Although approximately the same size as the SR-71, the SR-72 will be unmanned. In other words, it's a drone. The plane reportedly uses a turbine to accelerate to Mach 3, then switches to a dual-mode ramjet to achieve Mach 6 -- more than 4,100 mph!
About the Kit
The Lockheed SR-72 was released by Fantastic Plastic Models in mid-2015. Designed in CAD by Scott Lowther, the kit was a simple "desktop" model (no landing gear) that came with its own custom display stand.
The SR-72 model kit remains available in the Fantastic Plastic Virtual Museum Store.