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The X-Men's first Blackbird X-Jet was a modified, scaled-up version of the Lockheed SR-71 "Blackbird" spy plane, so it couldn't be a refurbished "war surplus" aircraft. It had to be specificaly manufactured. Who designed the X-Men's original Blackbird, and who designed the current X-Jet, and where were they built?? X-Jet Blackbird?

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The Blackbird/X-Jet from X-Men: First Class was designed by Hank McCoy (Beast) while he was working with Division X. Division X was funded by the government and had access to cutting edge technology of the time.

That portion of the film takes place during 1962 - at which point the real SR-71 Blackbird was in development. The Lockheed A-12, however, looks very similar and was already flying that year.

In the early comics, the X-Men traveled via private jet or helicopter. They were more advanced than normal aircraft, but they were not based off of the SR-71. In 1975, their jet was redesigned based off of the SR-71.

According to Marvel Wikia,

Professor Charles Xavier somehow gained at least one working version of the RS-150 Blackbird from S.H.I.E.L.D., after the X-Men's Stratojet had been destroyed by Count Nefaria.

And then

At some time, the Professor upgraded to the SR-71 Blackbird.

Since then, the original blackbird has been upgraded with Shi'ar technology and by Forge.

According to ComicVine,

Needless to say, the [X-Men] have gone through many of these jets with time, and the newer ones have been created and modified by Forge to have even greater capability.

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    I added an image of the current X-Jet. – Major Stackings Apr 13 '12 at 0:41
  • @MajorStackings OK, I wasn't totally sure if you were asking about the jets in general or just the film version. I edited the answer to go more into the comics origins. – phantom42 Apr 13 '12 at 11:52
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In the comics the X-men have flown two different base types of Blackbirds. The first was the RS150 that was designed and built by S.H.I.E.L.D. The second was built at Skunk Works a subsidiary of Lockheed Aircraft. After the Dark Phoenix saga the Blackbird was upgraded with Shi'ar tech by Forge.

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The article you post strongly suggests that in the first few issues of the series, Xavier simply bought a 'standard' Jet. Later after it was destroyed and rebuilt various technologies went into the plane. It was possibly scaled up then.

As for the one pictured:

In X-Men: First Class the Blackbird (which Hank McCoy/Beast states that he designed) is strongly visually based on the SR-71, though its internal layout is very different. The film is set in 1962, when the real-world SR-71 was still in development, meaning it is most like an A-12 which was first flown in April of that year.

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