The SR-71 Blackbird

SR-71 Blackbird News/Events

Here's a listing of some notable Blackbird missions. Some that changed history.

Also, at times various museum and other organizations hold special events to discuss and educate the public on the Blackbird program.

A-12 (0924) First Flight
25 April 1962

A-12 (0924) First Flight

The A-12’s first flight–unofficial and unannounced in keeping with a Lockheed tradition–took place on 25 (26?) April 1962 and almost caused the loss of the only OXCART aircraft built so far. 

Lieutenant Colonel Ben Bowles saves SR-71 Blackbird #960
29 July 1968

Lieutenant Colonel Ben Bowles saves SR-71 Blackbird #960

“On the morning of 29 July, 1968, my navigator, Jimmy Fagg, was not feeling well when we were having our preflight steak and eggs breakfast at the Personal Support Detachment. Butch Sheffield, returning from leave, walked in and mentioned he needed flight time and he would gladly substitute for Jimmy. “The flight was going well. We had just finished refueling and were accelerating thru approx 2.6 Mach and 65,000′, leaving Louisiana heading West. (ed.: usually a 40 minute flight to Sacramento) First indication of a problem was when the right engine “unstarted”. However, this was more serious than a routine inlet unstart.

 

SR-71 Blackbird - The Slowest Flyby
20 April 2018

SR-71 Blackbird - The Slowest Flyby

As a former SR-71 pilot, and a professional keynote speaker, the question I'm most often asked is "How fast would that SR-71 fly?" I can be assured of hearing that question several times at any event I attend. It's an interesting question, given the aircraft's proclivity for speed, but there really isn’t one number to give, as the jet would always give you a little more speed if you wanted it to.

SR-71 Blackbird Speed Check Story
20 April 2018

SR-71 Blackbird Speed Check Story

There were a lot of things we couldn't do in an SR-71, but we were the fastest guys on the block and loved reminding our fellow aviators of this fact. People often asked us if, because of this fact, it was fun to fly the jet. Fun would not be the first word I would use to describe flying this plane. Intense, maybe. Even cerebral. But there was one day in our Sled experience when we would have to say that it was pure fun to be the fastest guys out there, at least for a moment.

How the SR-71 Blackbird Got It's Name
14 August 2018

How the SR-71 Blackbird Got It's Name

During the presidential elections of 1964 Barry Goldwater accused President Lyndon Johnson that he let military technology lapse. During a press conference on July 1964, President Johnson announced the existence of the SR-71 Strategic Reconnaisance airplance.

Audio - Sacramento Tower Flyby by an SR-71 Blackbird
22 September 2018

Audio - Sacramento Tower Flyby by an SR-71 Blackbird

Great story told by SR-71 Pilot Maury Rosenberg

29 November 2018

Crippled SR-71 Blackbird in Emergency Intercepted By Four Swedish Viggens After Violating Sweden’s Airspace

During the 1980s, the U.S. flew regular SR-71 Blackbird aircraft reconnaissance missions in international waters over the Barents Sea and the Baltic Sea, the latter known as “Baltic Express” missions. On June 29, 1987, during one of those missions, a Blackbird launched from RAF Mildenhall, UK, piloted by retired Lt. Cols. Duane Noll and Tom Veltri, experienced a pretty serious inflight emergency.

The Day a SR-71 Blackbird Drag Cute Door Came Off at Mach 1.5
29 April 2019

The Day a SR-71 Blackbird Drag Cute Door Came Off at Mach 1.5

In January 1984 a rare incident occurred when  the SR-71 Blackbird  drag chute doors opened inadvertently at high Mach, creating problems, as RSO Lt. Col. Curt Osterheld (Ret) explains in Col. Richard H. Graham’s book The Complete Book of the SR-71 Blackbird:

 

Mach 3.5 Over Libya in an SR-71 Blackbird
23 July 2019

Mach 3.5 Over Libya in an SR-71 Blackbird

In April 1986, following an attack on American soldiers in a Berlin disco, President Reagan ordered the bombing of Muammar Qaddafi's terrorist camps in Libya. My duty was to fly over Libya and take photos recording the damage our F-111's had inflicted. Qaddafi had established a 'line of death,' a territorial marking across the Gulf of Sidra, swearing to shoot down any intruder that crossed the boundary. On the morning of April 15, I rocketed past the line at 2,125 mph.

When an SR-71 Retracted It's Landing Gear - In It's Hanger!
04 January 2020

When an SR-71 Retracted It's Landing Gear - In It's Hanger!

In 1982 during maintenance procedures at Beale Air Force Base a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird fell on its right wing during maintenance.

RSS
Visit The Store

Amazon store for SR-71 related items

Want some SR-71 stuff? Visit our Store page to buy anything from books to shirts, to cell phone stickers. All from Amazon.