The SR-71 Blackbird
Blackbird aircraft have been setting records since day one. Here's a list the top speed, highest and quickest distance between two points.
On 26 April 1971, SR-17 Blackbird, 61-7968, flown by majors Thomas B. Estes and Dewain C. Vick, flew over 15,000 miles (24,000 km) in 10 hours and 30 minutes. This flight was awarded the 1971 Mackay Trophy for the "most meritorious flight of the year" and the 1972 Harmon Trophy for "most outstanding international achievement in the art/science of aeronautics".
Pilot Jim Shelton and RSO Gary Coleman in #979, departed Griffiss AFB on the first of a series of flights to the Middle East.
Pilot Jim Wilson's account of the 12,000 mile mission that almost never was.
SR-71 Operations were conducted for a short time in 1978/79 at Diego Garcia. One of the SR-71 shelters at Beale AFB was dismantled and shipped to the coral island and then reassembled for use by the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing.
On 05 April of 1982 Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher announced that Det 4 would be a permanent SR-71 Detachment with two aircraft assigned. The United Kingdom remained in control of the more sensitive missions. The two aircraft Detachment ceased operations on 22 November 1989. The last aircraft departed the UK on 18 January 1990. The U.S. Government has given the United Kingdom an SR-71 #962 for public display at Duxford Imperial War Museum for it's contribution to ending the Cold War.
Muammar al-Qadhafi: In the early 1980's Qadhafi had decided to increase pressure on the West through subsidizing terrorism. In 1986 Qadhafi, who was maintaining some 22 terrorist camps in Libya, responded to the increased US presence off Libya by announcing a 'line of death' enclosing the Gulf of Sirte.
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