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SPY PLANE BELONGS `IN MUSEUM, NOT AIR,' HOUSE MEMBER SAYS

The mothballed SR-71 Blackbird spy plane belongs in a museum and not back in the air as some lawmakers are proposing, the House Intelligence Committee chairman says.

The museum is "much more appropriate for the aircraft than being pressed back into service at great expense to the taxpayer and little benefit to intelligence users," Rep. Dan Glickman, D-Kan., said Thursday.The House has been adamantly opposed to spending $100 million to reactivate three of the high-flying, super-fast planes, but the Senate has fought to include the money in defense spending bills for fiscal 1995.

"It absolutely dumbfounds me," Glickman said in an interview Thursday. "It's old technology."

The foremost Senate champion is Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., who said in a recent floor speech that the Blackbird has capabilities that can't be matched by other spy aircraft or satellites.