11 Facts About A-12 Oxcart


CIA's representatives initially favored Convair's design for its smaller radar cross-section, but the A-12 Oxcart's specifications were slightly better and its projected cost was much lower.

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A-12 Oxcart was produced from 1962 to 1964 and flew from 1963 to 1968.

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The A-12 Oxcart began flying missions in 1967 and its final mission was in May 1968; the program and aircraft were retired in June.

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In June 1964, the last A-12 Oxcart was delivered to Groom Lake, from where the fleet made a total of 2,850 test flights.

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The A-12 Oxcart trainer, known as "Titanium Goose", retained the J75 power plants for its entire service life.

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The first A-12 Oxcart arrived at Kadena Air Base on Okinawa on 22 May 1967.

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The A-12 Oxcart vehicle photographed 84 primary targets plus 89 bonus targets.

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A-12 Oxcart program was ended on 28 December 1966 – even before Black Shield began in 1967 – due to budget concerns and because of the SR-71, which began to arrive at Kadena in March 1968.

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All surviving aircraft remained there for nearly 20 years before being sent to museums around the US On 20 January 2007, despite protests by Minnesota's legislature and volunteers who had maintained it in display condition, the A-12 Oxcart preserved in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was sent to CIA headquarters to be displayed there.

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A-12 Oxcart training variant was a two-seat model with two cockpits in tandem with the rear cockpit raised and slightly offset.

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Lockheed convinced the US Air Force that an aircraft based on the A-12 Oxcart would provide a less costly alternative to the recently canceled North American Aviation XF-108, since much of the design and development work on the YF-12 had already been done and paid for.

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