The Valkyrie

Posted on 04 March 2010

Anoyone who knows me knows how much of an airplane buff I am and one of my favorite planes is the XB-70 Valkyrie: it was big, fast, almost pure white — and doomed. As long as I have had a fascination with flight and aircraft (which is only just a slightly shorter amount of time than I have been enraptured by anything dinosaur), I have been in love with the Valkyrie. I think it all started with that one library book that I discovered in Junior High — a fading 50’s tome with duotone sketches of various aircraft (then) currently in the US Air Forces arsenal. Specifically, the book focused on the various Strategic Air Command (SAC) aircraft and their ways of delivering nuclear weapons.

Towards the end of the book, they talked about the future of the Air Force and that future pointed to a Mach 3+ bomber which could fly higher than Soviet surface-to-air missles and faster than any Soviet fighter that might try to run it down. The illustrations in the book only hinted at the shape of the Valkyrie, but I knew I had to find out more. Back then, prior to the Web, I had to go and do some old fashioned research and so I combed the stacks for more information. Our school used the Dewey Decimal System and, archaic as it is, I soon figured out its intricacies and the history of the Valkyrie was unlocked.

Before there was a dedicated Discovery Wings channel (now the Military channel), I latched onto the Wings shows that would air regularly on the (then fledgling) Discovery Channel. Day after day I would sit and focus on the various aircraft being examined. Unfortunately, my old VHS tapes are starting to show their age but, regardless, I still watch and enjoy them…especially the episode about the XB-70 Valkyrie.

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