Tag: Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

The Story of the Crippled SR-71 Blackbird that Overflew Hanoi at Just Mach 1.1, at Just 41,000ft. And Got Away Safely.
Majs Tom Pugh and Ronnie Rice had been extremely lucky, considering the number of SAMs that encircled Hanoi. It appeared that the Vietnamese radar operators and their Soviet advisers had been 'asleep at the switch' during their SR-71 mid-altitude pass over one of the best-defended cities in the world. On May 15, 1972,...
That Time and F-4 Phantom II “Protected” a Mach 3 SR-71 Blackbird Spy Plane from a Meteor Attack
‘This rock is going God only knows how fast and is fifty miles straight up. If I can't shoot down a SR-71, how in hell am I going to even begin to bring missiles to bear on a meteor?’ Ed Cobleigh, former F-4 Pilot. The following story appears in Ed Cobleigh’s book War for...
The KC-135Q Story, Part Two: Refueling the Blackbird
The aerodynamic dissimilarity of the subsonic KC-135Q and its triple-sonic receiver dictated a precise rendezvous, and the actual air refueling was conducted at the limits of each airplane's operational envelope. The KC-135Q Story, Part Two. The major differences between the KC-135Q and other KC-135s were primarily related to the fuel...
The nose is coming off! How a T-38 trainer helped a SR-71 that was losing her nose section in flight to RTB
‘The remains of SR-71 Ichi-Ban were buried at sea with full military honors. The occasion occurred at 1157 hours on Christmas Eve of 1989,’ Colonel (Ret) Don Emmons, former SR-71 RSO. On Apr. 21, 1989, SR-71 #61-17974, better known as Ichi-Ban departed Kadena Air Base (AB) on a mission.  At the controls were...
The KC-135Q Story, Part One: Tweaking the Stratotanker to refuel a Mach 3+ Spy Plane
Why the series suffix 'Q' was selected is unknown. Using normal designation procedures, the KC-135Q should have been called the KC-135C as the MDS 'KC-135B' had already been allocated to the airborne command post then under development. The KC-135Q Story, Part One. On Jul. 4, 1956, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)...
Video shows SR-71 Blackbird last flight (at a speed of Mach 3.2!)
The last ever flight of an SR-71 Blackbird took place on Oct. 9, 1999 at the Edwards AFB Open House Airshow. Taken on Saturday Oct. 9, 1999 at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) the short movie in this post shows the last ever flight of an SR-71 Blackbird. This...
Currently available on Ebay: ultra-rare Original SR-71 Blackbird Pilot Helmet
The original SR-71 Blackbird Space Pilot Helmet comes with the original carrying bag. Grab your chance to buy on Ebay an ultra-rare Original SR-71 Blackbird Pilot Helmet. The seller includes in the shipment the original helmet bag. Furthermore the seller has included “a rare t-shirt and two patches that come from...
Bob Gilliland, the First Man to fly the iconic SR-71, Passes Away
Bob Gilliland made the historic SR-71 first flight on Dec. 22, 1964. Robert J. “Bob” Gilliland, former Lockheed test pilot and the first man to fly the iconic SR-71 Blackbird spy plane, the world’s fastest aircraft, died on Thursday, Jul. 4, 2019 at the Rancho Mirage, California retirement facility where he had been living for several...
The story of the SR-71 Blackbird that outran Gaddafi's SAMs during a BDA flight of Libya in support of Operation Eldorado Canyon
“You know the part in 'High Flight'—where it talks about putting out your hand to touch the face of God? Well, when we're at speed and altitude in the SR, we have to slow down and descend in order to do that,” Gil Bertelson, former SR-71 Blackbird pilot. The SR-71, the most advanced...
SR-71... or RS-71? How the legendary Blackbird got her designation
On Mar. 21, 1968 in this aircraft, Maj. (later Gen.) Jerome F. O'Malley and Maj. Edward D. Payne made the first operational SR-71A sortie. Taken in March 1990 the emotional video in this post shows the arrival of the iconic SR-71A Blackbird at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force (USAF) at...