We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
For anyone who thinks the marriage of form and function peaked with the iPod, I offer the SR-71 Blackbird. Capable of flying at Mach 3 sixteen miles above sea level, the Blackbird flew surveillance missions over Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, and the former Soviet Union with complete impunity from 1966 to 1990. It’s also one of the sexiest and most iconic machines ever built: a sleek poison dart of a plane that looks like it couldn’t possibly carry a crew of two (which it can) or fly from Los Angeles to D.C. in 64 minutes (which it did). Retired NASA test pilot Ed Schneider highlights the Blackbird’s many engineering marvels in his “Tales From the Cockpit” at 8 p.m. at the National Air and Space Museum’s Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater, 7th Street and Independence Avenue SW. Free (advance ticket required). (202) 633-2398. (Chris Klimek)