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

SR-71A First Flight

SR-71A First Flight

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The first flight of an SR-71 took place on 22 December 1964, at USAF Plant 42 in Palmdale, California, piloted by Bob Gilliland. 


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Tags: SR-71