There's really only a handful of aircraft that are so stunning to me that I can hardly speak when I'm in their presence. The XB-70 is one of them. The only remaining example (just two were built) is in the Research & Development Hangar at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force - or Air Force Museum as we used to call it. When I'm near the Valkyrie, everything changes. Seriously, it's like something supernatural is happening. My thoughts are quieted, the universe seems more focused, the air is very still... and I'm in complete awe. And best of all, Friday, Saturday and Sunday (January 27-29, 2012) the 2nd annual AirPigz Air Force Museum MeetUp will give me the chance to be stunned once again. I head out for a three hour drive to Dayton Ohio in the morning!
Regardless of facts like: the need for a high altitude and very supersonic bomber evaporated once anti-aircraft missiles were developed; and one of the two prototype aircraft was tragically lost in a rather bizarre accident (no fault of the aircraft), the Valkyrie is a watershed accomplishment, especially for the 1960's. A bomber that demonstrated the ability to exceed Mach 3... and it's stunningly beautiful as well.
I'm planning to photo-document quite a bit of the airplane on this visit, so you can expect an interesting and detailed post at some point in the future. But nothing compares to breathing air that has touched the skin of the Valkyrie. Get on over to the Air Force Museum and experience the power of the XB-70 for yourself!