The XB-70 Valkyrie is a thing of beauty with its exotic design, supersonic speeds and stellar combat performance. Despite all the positive aspects of this amazing bomber, it was never given a real chance and the program was canceled. Many attribute the cancelation of the Valkyrie to a midair collision but that is not the true cause.
To promote the new supersonic bomber, General Electric set up an aerial photo shoot with two XB-70 Valkyries. One of the fighter jets participating in the photo session came to close to the wing of an XB-70 causing it to crash. This crash was well documented, but they still had one perfectly good Valkyrie so why was it never used?
“[The XB-70] stood little chance of penetrating enemy defenses successfully.”
– President John F. Kennedy
The Soviet improved their defenses with the introduction highly effective surface-to-air missiles which could destroy high-altitude aircraft. Unfortunately, due to the heavy loss rates of high-altitude bomber aircraft such as the B-52, it was proven to be far too great a risk. In the end, it was not worth sending in an expensive Valkyrie only to have it shot down by a missile, thus the reason it was canceled.