|In story information|
|Element of stories featuring||X-Men|
The Blackbird (also nicknamed X-Jet) is a fictional aircraft appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The plane is depicted as being used by the superhero team the X-Men. There have been several incarnations of this craft over the years, with Cyclops and Storm as the main pilots.
When the X-Men were introduced, they traveled in Professor Xavier's private jet and helicopter: advanced but fairly conventional aircraft with remote autopilots (i.e. the Professor flew them from home). When the series resumed in 1975, the X-Men flew a strato-jet that resembled a larger version of the Lockheed SR-71 "Blackbird" spy plane (hence the name), modified to carry several passengers and for Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL). Some writers have referred to this design as the "SR-73", "SR-77", or the "SR-70"; it is canon in most plotlines of the Marvel Universe, including X-Men: Evolution, whose first episode sees Scott call it the SR-77. The original X-Men Blackbird has been destroyed and rebuilt numerous times in the course of the team's many adventures. The later versions incorporated technology created by the mutant inventor Forge, as well as alien (Shi'ar) technology, including weapons, holographic active camouflage, and engines capable of hypersonic speeds. One version of the Blackbird had an experimental cockpit windshield infused with traces of the same ruby quartz material used in Cyclops' visor, allowing him to project and amplify his optic blasts.
In the Ultimate X-Men series, the X-Men seemingly have several aircraft, including one that resembles a B-2 Spirit stealth bomber (this craft is referred to in issue #70 as the "X-Wing"). One of the airplanes has been referred to casually as the "Blackbird" because of its resemblance to the SR-71.