Just over at Bobbi's, which leads me to an SR-71 video that is talking about something that happened in 1964. 1964! That was the year after Kennedy was shot! I was still a little kid! The Gary Powers U2 incident was still fresh. The SR-71 was still secret, well for a couple of months anyway.
This video gives a pretty good overview of the SR-71. It talks about buying titanium from the Russians, the pervasive problem of temperature, choreography, fuel, power, speed and altitude.
The SR-71 doesn't look that impressive today, after all, it's old hat. But it was built in 1964, out of titanium. Now that I know more about what's involved, it's very impressive.
Update: A one hundred mile turn radius sounded a bit excessive, even if you are traveling faster than a speeding bullet, so I did some calculations. The resulting force on the plane and pilot would be 1.64 G's, meaning if you weighed 180 pounds on the ground, going through a corner you would feel like you weighed 300 pounds. And if you had to pull a U-turn, you would feel like that for almost six minutes!
You know, the Blackbird could be mistaken for Superman: faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.