I agree with you !
But ..... just a doubt : are you sure that Valkyrie was faster than SR-71 ?
I'm not sure about which one was faster, but I remember reading that while the problem-plagued XB-70s were making occassional short dashes at Mach 3, with long down times inbetween flights, the still secret A-11/YF-12/SR-71 fleet was routinely operating around the world at Mach 3+.
Based on this, I would vote for the SR-71 family before the XB-70, even though the XB-70 was a looker.
I stand corrected-
Top Speed Valkyrie- Mach 3.1 2056 mph
SR71- Mach 3.2 2200 mph Source: Wickipedia
What is 150 mph betwen friends!
However that may be .....
both GREAT aircraft, true icons of the sixties at the top, together X-15, of aviation advanced technologies and achievements .....
Its just a shame that the aviation industry has gone backwards in terms of the speed of aircraft. 30/40 years ago mach 3+ military aircraft and mach 2+ civilian aircraft were being built! What have we now!
I agree that the XB70 is a beautiful and capable aircraft but the fact that it never even went into service would seem to disqualify it from being one of the 100 greatest military aircraft. Another fast and beautiful bomber might fit the bill though. How about the B-58 Hustler? The world's first supersonic bomber not only broke the sound barrier it was capable of Mach 2.
The official reason for the XB70 being cancelled below:
I have seen the surviving XB70 at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. It is unfortunately in a hangar with lots of aircraft parked under its long fuselage. It is still an awsome "bird" and it would be very nice if it could get its own hangar,
The two XB-70As completed were never intended to be anything other than very high speed test aircraft. Because of advances in enemy air defenses during the late 1950s and early 1960s in both interceptor and surface-to-air missile design, the high-speed, high-altitude penetration bomber mission was seen as too risky and left the aircraft and crew very vulnerable to attack. Bombers capable of low level penetration or standoff weapons delivery were judged more practical. The growing value of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile for strategic deterrence also had a negative effect on the XB-70 and similar programs (e.g. XF-108).
On 3 January 1966, the second XB-70 attained a speed of Mach 3.05 while flying at 72,000 ft (21,900 m). XB-70 #2 reached a top speed of Mach 3.08 and maintained it 20 minutes on 12 April 1966. On 19 May 1966, XB-70 #2 reached Mach 3.06 and flew at Mach 3 for 32 minutes, covering 2,400 mi (3,840 km) in 91 minutes of total flightXB-70 Performance Longest Flight: 3:40 hrs (on 6 January 1966)Fastest Speed: 2,020 mph (3,250 km/h) (on 12 January 1966)Highest Altitude: 74,000 ft (23,000 m) (on 19 March 1966)Highest Mach number: Mach 3.08 (on 12 April 1966)Sustained Mach 3: 32 minutes (on 19 May 1966)Mach 3 total: 108 minutes/10 flights
Gravity always wins!
I've seen the XB-70 in USAF museum as well, it was in a quite tiny hangar for its size, quite a problem taking picture of the entire shape.... lovely plane.
If I'm correct the XB-70 was the first US plane to be designed for - and the first to make - a supersonic cruise flight, as shortly after the SR-71 did.
.... such a beauty....