A technological tour de force of epic proportions, the legend of the XB-70 Valkyrie very nearly surpasses the performance of this extraordinary aircraft. Built in the 1960s as a result of a USAF proposal for a supersonic bomber with high subsonic cruising speed and supersonic dash capabilities, the massive XB-70 was to have carried the same bombload as the B-52 Stratofortress at a higher supersonic speed than the Air Force's current strategic bomber, the B-58 Hustler. A later requirement specified that the plane be able to fly the entire mission at Mach 3.0 or greater, with a range of up to 10,500 miles and a maximum gross weight of 490,000 pounds. In the event, technology quickly relegated the Valkyrie to the role of supersonic research testbed and flagship of the USAF's public relations fleet. Ground-to-air missiles and advanced radar made the XB-70's supersonic mission impossible. The bomb bay of the aircraft was instead packed with data acquisition equipment.
** FS2004 and FSX only **
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