The SR-71 Blackbird

The CIA A-12 Blackbird Program


The A-12 started out as an USAF interceptor to replace the cancelled F-108A Rapier. In October 1962, CIA authorized the Skunk Works to study the feasibility of modifying the A-12 to carry and deploy a reconnaissance drone for unmanned overflight of denied areas. The project was codenamed TAGBOARD.

22 Dec 1964

First Flight of M21 (SR-71) Carrying D-21 Drone)

First Flight of M21 (SR-71) Carrying D-21 Drone)

Author: SR Admin  /  Categories: Events  /  Rate this article:

On December 22, 1964, the first flight of the D-21/M-21 combination (now referred to as the “M/D-21”) was successfully completed from Groom Lake. Per Johnson: "Bill Park flew at the end of the day. It flew well and, in spite of having low-powered engines, went supersonic on the first flight." Interestingly, on this same day, the first SR-71A successfully completed its first flight from Lockheed's Palmdale, California facility.


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