Monday, April 2, 2012

Blackbird

Bet I fooled you with the blog title, didn't I? Blackbird... one that flies. That's true but this one is not a bird at all but a plane. Every time I go to the Richmond International Airport in Virginia to pick up visitors,  I see this long, elegant (can you call a plane elegant?) dark-as-night plane. I found out that it is a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird.

This plane was created by Kelly Johnson and set the world speed record in July 1976 of 2193.167 MPH and has held it ever since. In the same flight it also set the altitude record of 85,068.997 feet. One SR-71 was donated to the Smithsonian Institute and in a farewell flight, flew from Los Angeles to Washington DC in 64 minutes.

The SR-71 was designed as a high-speed high altitude aircraft, providing pre-attack and post-attack reconnaissance. SR-71 aircraft flew most of their operational missions from Detachment 1, Kadena Air base, Okinawa. Between 1968 and its deactivation in 1990, the SR-71 fleet flew over 3,500 operational sorties. No SR-71 was ever shot down or hit by enemy fire, and they are known to have outrun 100s of missiles. It could fly 1 mile in under 2 seconds.   To me, that seems like something out of science fiction. An impossible feat and yet it was a part of our defense for years.

                                                      The cockpit and nose of the Blackbird


eye to eye - face to face


Look at that long, sleek body. Wouldn't you just love to fly that thing!!

Well, come to think of it, maybe not. (grin)

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9 comments:

  1. Latane, I really enjoyed seeing the 'Blackbird' how amazing. I agree with you ...it seems like science fiction...but there she is ...for real! When we were at the airport some sort of jet 'whizzed' overhead...gone before your eyes could get a good look. Were we ever impressed! Maybe it was coming from Luke airforce base. Marie is your daughter ...right? She is so nice and sweet. It would have been nice if we could have met her in AZ ...but it wasn't to be. Maybe another time if there is another trip to AZ. Happy EAster! oh...I was able to get that book at the library you recommended...'Townie' by Andre Dubus....I think that was you =>

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  2. My brother saw this fly when he worked at Lockheed, he was quite impressed!

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  3. Wow --what a gorgeous airplane. My brother --who loved airplanes and owned a Piper Cub at one time--would have loved that Blackbird..

    Gonna be out-of-pocket for a few days...
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  4. Wow! Really awesome post, Mom! Love all that great info you included!

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  5. I think our blackops programs are about 40yrs ahead of the norm...Cool plane!
    hughugs

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  6. Wow … a mile in two seconds does sound incredible. What a futuristic airplane this is shaped much like a rocket! It looks like it means serious business.

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  7. Willie like pic, best plane built by Lockheed Martin-SR-71 spy.

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  8. The SR-71 served with the U.S. Air Force from 1964 to 1998. Of the 32 aircraft built, 12 were destroyed in accidents, and none lost to enemy action. The SR-71 has been given several nicknames, including Blackbird and Habu, the latter in reference to an Okinawan species of pit viper.

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