The SR-71 Blackbird

The USAF SR-71 Blackbird Program

The SR-71 Blackbird has a long and distinguished career during it's operations for the USAF. 

 

In December 1962, the Air Force ordered six “reconnaissance/strike” aircraft for high-speed, high-altitude flights over hostile territory after a nuclear attack—hence its original designator RS. Compared to the A-12, the SR-71 was about six feet longer, weighed 15,000 pounds more fully loaded, had more prominent nose and body chines and a two-seat cockpit, and carried additional optical and radar imagery systems and ELINT sensors in interchangeable noses.

26 Apr 1971

SR-71 Blackbird - 1971 Mackay Trophy

SR-71 Blackbird - 1971 Mackay Trophy

Author: Blackbird Historian  /  Categories: Aircraft Records, USAF Operations  / 

On 26 April 1971, 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".

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