Secrets of War, spy planes is the fifth episode in the series narrated by Charlton Heston. The key to winning a war is having intelligence but, more importantly intelligence that your enemy does not know you have. As a result countries like the United States have put in an awful amount of money over the last several decades to create spy plane super weapons. The idea of creating a spy plane seems simple on face value and a rather straight forward idea, so long as you have the money but as this documentary shows, it is not. Two of the planes focused on in this film is the now famous U-2 and blackbird sr-71 which displayed a revolution in technology and they were both like something out of a 1950’s science fiction comic, most certainly the sr-71 developed in the secretive area 51 in Nevada.
The first wave of spy aircraft from the United states were designed for stealth and speed. The U-2 reconnaissance was first introduced in 1957 and could travel at speeds of over 800 km/h however its was the immense height at which it could is was set this machine apart from everything else. The second of the most well known cold war planes is the blackbird sr-71 which was introduced in 1966, this aircraft is almost completely invisible to radar and has a top speed of 3,540 km/h which was faster than any missile at the time making the sr-71 almost invincible and a triumph of engineering. It was only retired in 1999 after a long line of service.
These are just two examples of the many brilliant spy planes explored in this documentary in the secrets of war series.