If you where to build a newer better blackbird for the X-Men how would you do it and with what technology?
I would dimple the plane like a Golf ball. This is because a dimple reduces the drag by braking up the smooth surface, This happen because the air in the dimple circulates making the oncoming air flow-over rather then along the surface.
The plane would use Thrust Vectoring for better manoeuvrability while flying, This also reduces the need for large ailerons (if they are still needed at all that is!) thus reducing weight and size of the aircraft this makes it smaller and lighter while also reducing drag because of the larger and thicker wing needed in older aircraft's.
The plane would use a P.B.O (akas Power-by-Optics) This is a hybrid technology of Fly-by-optics & Power-by-wire technology where the wire in PBW is replaced with Optics. This makes the plane faster to respond to commands then it would with F.B.W (akas Fly by Wire) or even then Fly by Wireless since the commands would travel at light-speed rather then at the speed of electricity and more reliable since it gives the aircraft less reactive metal that an EMP could effect and no radio-waves that could be blocked. This would also help to ever so slightly reduce it's Radar cross signature and weight.
The engines would be an upgraded version of the Pratt & Whitney J58 used in the SR-71 it would use Carbon-Ceramic rather then Titanium, The plane would also have four detachable Scramjets for extra-speed which can be attached under the wings.
I would also place the air intakes and engines closer to the planes body rather then at the start of the wing this is done for three reasons!
(1) Being attached to the body they can be aligned so they can produce a stronger thrust then they can apart making the plane faster.
(2) Not being attached to the wing will make them (the wings) stronger especially at high-speeds as they would not have the weight or vibrations caused by the engines reducing wing stress in manoeuvres or bad weather.
(3) Not being located on the wings reduces the radar cross section of the plan and makes it harder to hit by missiles or bullet fire!
The Plane would have all the most advanced sensors and displays including a full Three Dimensional Head Up Display Helmet. The cockpit would be windowless to enhance strength of the plane and help protect the pilot from injury's from weapons.
To be updated one day soon I hope!