Project Suntan – The Lockheed CL-400

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After the U-2 but before the SR-71 was created, another reconnaissance aircraft was planed by the USAF and designed by Lockheed’s Kelly Jonhson to take the place of the CIA’s U-2.
This that would be powered by liquid hydrogen and fly 30,000ft higher than the U-2 at 100,000 ft but the difficulties of working with hydrogen at that time put paid the to project. However the top-secret project did ultimately lead to the SR-71 and the advanced use of hydrogen in the upcoming space programs. This is the story of the Lockheed CL-400.

Written, researched and presented by Paul Shillito
Images and footage: NACA, NASA, Lockheed, Pratt & Whitney, Jozef Gatial

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