It only took one look to become smitten.

Colored photograph of an aircraft lifting off from the runway. Photo shows the underside of the mostly white plane. Blue sky with just a strip of horizon.Linda Evangelista.

One photo of those long delta wings, that swan-like fuselage, those sleek, eel-like canards.

I think I was so young that I didn’t actually read the small amount of information that accompanied the photograph of the XB-70 Valkyrie Bomber in the book.

What was it?
Where is it now?
How can anything so astounding to look at remain so obscure?

Later in life, whenever I flicked through a fashion magazine in the dentist’s or doctor’s waiting room, I would have a similar experience.

That elegance, that swan-like neck, that perfect length hair.

Who was this woman?

Colored photograph of Linda Evangelista side on  with face turned towards camera. She has long blonde hair and is wearing a fine knit white top with beaded trim. Linda Evangelista.
The woman was Linda Evangelista, supermodel of the catwalk.

I suspect that my appreciation of the former inanimate object may have influenced my appreciation of the latter, animated human being.
Both attractive subjects were to become the focus of continued research.

Aaaah! The XB-70!

The Russians made a smaller, copied prototype, and the Mig 25 Foxbat, to try to intercept it. Just one of its six engines has the power of today’s cutting edge fighter bombers.

Compared to the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird (I might get some flack for saying this),the XB-70 is an aluminum masterpiece of honeycomb sandwich technology next to a titanium dreadnought.The supermodel bomber was also cheaper to build and almost as fast in flight. (Why not at least a reconnaissance model?)

Of course, I am still in love with the Blackbird. It’s just that they are a tad more common.

Colored photograph of a black spy plane taking off. Seen from behind. Has two long flame trails and haze from exhaust gases. Blue sky and thin strip of horizon. Linda Evangelista.
Bye Bye Blackbird?

Now imagine a grand entrance, special occasion, one-upmanship situation. What would you choose?

I’d choose the XB-70 Valkyrie and Linda Evangelista, as they are both extremely beautiful and rare. So, now you know the two things I’d most like to be seen with on the runway.

P.S. Linda Evangelista, I remember your saying that you wanted to be a film star as well as the supermodel. I’m working on it…

Image Credits

1. XB-70 North American Valkyrie By NASA – Cropped from:, Public Domain,

2. Linda Evangelista – By jusez from Hong Kong, China – Flickr, CC BY 2.0,

3. SR-71A Blackbird – By TSgt. Jose Lopez, USAF (U.S. DefenseImagery photo VIRIN: DF-SC-83-11417) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons