Workers attend to titanium A-12 spy-plane prototype before radar testing | Photo source: National Geographic"Area 51 was created so that U.S. Cold Warriors with the highest security clearances could pursue cutting-edge aeronautical projects away from prying eyes," National Geographic said. "During the 1950s and '60s Area 51's top-secret OXCART program developed the A-12."
The A-12 aircraft said to be almost undetectable to radar. It is super fast at a speed of 2,200 miles an hour (3,540 kilometers an hour)— that's traveling the continental US in 1 hour and 10 minutes. It's camera could also capture 12-inch-long objects from 90,000 feet (27,400 meters).
Made by Lockheed Corporation, this U-2 spy plane successor was produced from 1962 through 1964, and was in operation from 1963 until 1968. The final A-12 mission was flown in May 1968, and the program and aircraft retired in June of that year due to budget constraints.