SR-71s were nearly the fastest non-experimental aircraft ever made. The CIA's single seat A-12's were the fastest.
An SR-71 Blackbird is towed to the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia. 1990.
Fullsize image: https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/h...t_fullsize.jpg
I have a sr71 almost parked in my back yard... about 3 miles down the road at the armament musseem at Eglin afb hear in fl. it is 1 of a kind, not just like the others. but still the same. a sr 71 was based at kadena for long tyme. it was still there in 76 when we left there to come hear the hurlburt afb about 10 miles down the road the other way. dad flew the black birds and retired out of hurlburt. I saw the sr 71 (HABU)almost daily on Okinawa when it took off and later landed from it's missions. totaly awesome sight!!! dam I miss those days. but I still have fighters flying directly over head daily as eglin is now a big training base for the F35 vertickle take off fighter's(and more). those sucker's are getting good work out's!!! my hearing is almost gone now but I can still hear them and feel them too.the sound of freedom.
There was only ever one fatal Blackbird flight accident. An SR-71 disintegrated at 79,000 feet and the two crew bailed out. Jim Zwyer was killed; Bill Weaver lived. Here's Weaver:
3:03 video. Some hokey re-enactment scenes, but you do get to see Weaver talk:
More: When his SR-71 Disintegrated, This Pilot Free Fell From Space & Lived to Tell About It | CHUCKYEAGER.ORG
There was another accident which resulted in the death of a crew member. That was when an A-12 converted to an M-21 variant was launching the D-21 Reconnaissance Drone from its position between the two vertical surfaces. As soon as the D-21 fired its ramjet motor and was released, it encountered the pressure wave surrounding the M-21 causing instability then collision, breaking the M-21 in half. Both Pilot and Launch Control Officer survived ejection and landed safely, but the LCO drowned at sea 150 miles out. Some really good information at this website: Loss of M
crap Im old, that was so long ago....and yet I can still remember almost being able to reach up and touch it as it mad it's slow turn
over camp Courtney 10 meter swiming pool tower we were always jumping of of. so close you could see the pilot oh so clear and yes the plane was about 90 degrees in the turns that seems to last for ever. about a year lator I was living on kadena afb and watching it take off....straight up. I wish dad would of got me a ride......but he wasent that kind of dad.....1 thing he did teach me was ..how not to be a dad. his loss was my gain in the end. I have 2 awesome daughters, 1 a dr. and 1 a diplomat , now learning Albanian for her up coming assignment in kosovo for 2 years. yes Im very proud of them.
Lockheed Martin SR-72 concept, rumored to be flying by 2025.
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