The SR-71 Blackbird

  • The SR-71 Blackbird

    The SR-71 Blackbird

    The fastest manned jet aircraft ever built. Designed by humans. On paper. With slide rules.

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  • The SR-71 Blackbird

    Day or Night

    Invisible at Night. Undetectable by Day. Feared around the clock.

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  • The SR-71 Blackbird

    Power Incarnate

    Twin JP58 Engines. 11 Shock Rings. 32,500 lbf of force. Each.

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  • The SR-71 Blackbird

    Record Holder

    The SR-71 still holds many altitude and speed records for manned aircraft.

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  • The SR-71 Blackbird

    The Blackbird

    If you're wondering why it was call 'Blackbird', you're missing the point of this photo.

    Dramatic images
  • The SR-71 Blackbird

    Simply Beautiful

    With an airframe that wasn't just functional. It was gorgeous.

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The Complete Reference to the SR-71

All in one place.


The SR-71 Blackbird

SR-71 Blackbird Head-on view cockpitThe Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird was a two-seat twin-engine long-range supersonic strategic reconnaissance aircraft produced by Lockheed Corporation. The SR-71 was capable of flying at speeds over Mach 3.2 and at a height of 85,000 feet (25,900 Meter). The SR-71 was in duty from 1964 until 1989 and during a reactivation from 1993 until 1998. It was designed by the Lockheed Advanced Development Projects Devision aka the Lockheed Skunk Works.


SR-71 Records


The Blackbirds still hold many speed, altitude and distance records for a manned aircraft.



Sustained Horizontal Flight: 85,068.997 ft (25,929.031 meters) SR-71A (Tail #963).


Absolute Speed Over a Straight Course:

  • 2,070.101 mph
  • YF-12A #60-6936

Absolute Speed Over a 500km Closed Course:

  • 1,688.889 mph
  • YF-12A #60-6936

Absolute Speed Over a 1,000km Closed Course:

  • 1,643.041 mph
  • YF-12A #60-6936

Speed Over a Straight Course (15-25km):

  • 2,193.167 mph
  • SR-71A(Tail #958).

Speed over a 15/25 Kilometer Straight Course

  • 2,193.167 MPH

Speed Over a Closed Course (1000km):

  • 2,092.294 mph
  • SR-71A(Tail #958).

Speed over Distance:

West Coast to East Coast of USA

  • 2,404.05 statute miles
  • Time: 1 hr 07 min 53.69 secs
  • Average Speed: 2,124.51 mph

Los Angeles To Washington D.C.

  • 2,299.67 statute miles
  • Time: 1 hr 04 min 19.89 secs
  • Average Speed: 2,144.83 mph

St Louis To Cincinnati

  • 311.44 statute miles
  • Time: 8 mins 31.97 secs
  • Average Speed: 2,189.94 mph

Kansas City To Washington D.C.

  • 942.08 statute miles
  • Time: 25 mins 58.53 secs
  • Average Speed: 2176.08 mph

New York to London

  • 3,461.53 statute miles
  • Time: 1hr 54 min 56.4 secs.
  • Average Speed 1,806.95 statute mph.

London to Los Angeles

  • 5,446.87 statute miles
  • Time: 3hrs 47min 39secs.
  • Average Speed: 1,435.59 mph
Find a Blackbird

Visit our Aircraft Listing page to find out where the surviving Blackbirds are on display. Listed by Tail Number and able to be filtered by the state they are in, you can read about their history and even find the SR-71 or YF-12 nearest you.


Take a Look

On Amazon Prime Video

For the first time in 75 years Lockheed Martin is pulling back the veil on their top secret program, Skunk Works. 

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