The SR-71 Blackbird isn’t the only blackbird in the Oxcart family. Over time, a few variants of the unique aircraft were released, among them being the YF-12 series. Codenamed “Kedlock”, the YF-12 was designed to serve as an interceptor with the primary objective of eliminating Soviet bombers long before they reached the United States.


The YF-12 had it’s front nose rounded to fit it’s radar avionics   


     While only 3 YF-12s were ever built with none ever seeing combat and the project being cancelled, that didn’t stop the aircraft from setting flight records that still remain unbroken. Since it’s maiden flight on August 7th, 1973 it has become the world’s largest, heaviest and fastest manned interceptor.

     The aircraft could seat two people, a pilot and a FCO (Fire Control Officer). The YF-12 had a length of 101.8ft, height of 18.6ft and a wingspan of 55.7ft. The YF-12 had a combat range of 3,000 miles (4,800 kilometers), service ceiling of 90,000ft (27,400m) and a maximum speed of mach 3.35 (2,275 mph, 3,661 kph) at 80,000ft.


The YF-22 with a GAR-9 (AIM-47A) A-T-A Missile


     As for the armaments of the YF-12, the internal fuselage bays originally carrying camera equipment were converted to carry missiles. The YF-12 carried 3 Hughes AIM-47A air-to-air missiles and were operated with Hughes AN/ASG-18 Fire-Control radar avionics.