SR-71 Blackbird

Hey Geeks! Here you can read all SR-71 Blackbird stories published on The Aviation Geek Club site.

SR-71 crew chief explains why the Blackbird never stopped to leak fuel and why SR-71s on public display are still weeping JP-7 today

SR-71 crew chief explains why the Blackbird never stopped to leak fuel and why SR-71s on public display are still weeping JP-7 today

A problem of flying at Mach 3+ was that at the time when the SR-71 was devised no sealant would… Read More

6 days ago

SR-71 pilot recalls that time his Blackbird flew so fast that he and his RSO landed at Kadena AB two hours before they took off from Beale AFB beating the sun

‘We took off from Beale at 11:00 AM and arrived at Kadena at 9:00AM, two hours before we took off from Beale,… Read More

1 week ago

Legendary “Sled Driver” Brian Shul tells the story behind his famed SR-71 Blackbird Ground Speed Check

“‘Center, Aspen 20, you got a ground speed readout for us?’ There was a longer than normal pause … ‘Aspen,… Read More

2 weeks ago

The SR-71 Blackbird Crew Members Survival Kit included a very rare Aluminum Gun (the Gun was made in Aluminum to keep it Lightweight)

Although no SR-71 was ever shot down, Blackbird’s pilots and RSOs had a survival kit fitted with several non-traditional items.… Read More

4 weeks ago

The SR-71 Blackbird had a Smart Valve that allowed to use JP-7 fuel as internal coolant. Here’s how it worked.

The SR-71 Blackbird smart valve supplied only the hottest fuel to the engines and sent cooler fuel to retracted landing… Read More

1 month ago

Skunk Works Director Ben Rich recalls when CIA financed the A-12 Oxcart with secret funds and back-door payments to Lockheed with personal checks to Kelly Johnson for more than $1 million

‘Everything about the A-12 Oxcart program was dark alley, cloak and dagger. Even the way they financed the operation was… Read More

1 month ago

Two Blackbird Mach 3 Spy Planes were Hit by North Vietnamese Air Defenses: one A-12 was hit with shrapnel, another Oxcart was damaged by SAM debris

How close did a Blackbird Mach 3 spy plane ever come to being shot down? The iconic SR-71 Blackbird spy… Read More

1 month ago

Blackbird pilot recalls when an SR-71 slid on JP-7 fuel residue while taxing into Kadena Hangar

As the Blackbird entered the hangar, it encountered water on the ground, which had mixed with the SR-71’s specialized JP-7… Read More

2 months ago

The story of the SR-71(Bx), the supercruising strike aircraft version of the Blackbird armed with AGM-69A SRAM missiles into the chines

In 1976 Ben Rich of the Lockheed Skunk Works delivered a paper that briefly described the `Bx', a straightforward modification… Read More

2 months ago

SR-71 Blackbird crew members tell the story of the Inlet Unstart that prevented them to go Faster than Mach 3.2 during the Absolute Speed Record run in 1976

“If they hadn’t had the unstart when they were going through the gate, the record speed would’ve been higher. Their… Read More

2 months ago

[Updated] ATC controller recalls when he asked for vertical separation to an SR-71 Blackbird crew in conflicting route with an Air France Concorde Supersonic Airliner

‘I was controlling a westbound Concorde just entering my airspace when I received details of an SR-71 coming eastbound on… Read More

2 months ago

CIA engineer recalls when specks of insects hoisted from atomic tests in Russia and China were found on an A-12 windshield after an Oxcart mission

‘We had the specks lab tested, and they turned out to be organic material—insects that had been injected into the… Read More

2 months ago

KC-135A Crew Chief recalls when his Stratotanker had to purge its tanks of the JP-4 to load JP-7 to refuel an SR-71 Blackbird (No KC-135Q was available)

The SR-71 Blackbird Mach 3+ spy plane could be refueled by standard Stratotankers in the event KC-135Qs were not available.… Read More

2 months ago

The story of the SR-71 Double-Engine Flameout over North Vietnam that led to the Blackbird’s nickname the “Lead Sled”

The SR-71 was nicknamed the “Lead Sled” by a few people after Jerry O’Malley (pilot) and Ed Payne (RSO) dropped… Read More

3 months ago