SR-71 Blackbird

SR-71 Blackbird Here lives the "Bat out of Hell!"

Operating as usual


Thanks Mom!! 😎😏

MACH III (SR71 Vs. Saab JA 37 Short Film)

Kudos to budding filmmakers Andy and Dan for this project. Commendable effort!

Dan & Andy chronicle their journey making an action-packed aviation film about Swedish combat jets challenging the uncatchable American SR-71 Blackbird. Than...

Thanks Doc! 😎(Via Doctrine Man)
The SR-71 Blackbird

Thanks Doc! 😎

(Via Doctrine Man)

December 22nd, 1964, The first flight of Lockheed's Skunk Works, and the brain child of Kelly Johnson, super secret Strategic Reconnaissance SR-71, was designed with a minimal radar cross section, loaded with electronic countermeasures, and a deep blue/black paint to increase its internal heat emiss...

Fall from an SR-71

Good clip!

In 1966, an SR-71 "Blackbird" disintegrated at 78,000 feet. The pilot's first thought was "No one could live through what just happened. Therefore, I must be...

We Are The Mighty
We Are The Mighty

We Are The Mighty

Neil Armstrong himself was among the test pilots.

Daniel Alarik
Daniel Alarik

Daniel Alarik

I'd add a highly disciplined infantry unit to this list.

Why Was This Plane Invulnerable: The SR-71 Blackbird Story

Lot of informational videos of this kind on YouTube lately. This was well made.

The Cold War locked the United States and Soviet Union into a tense struggle for global influence and control. The first purpose-built American spy plane to ...

It's always nice to be remembered!!
Grunt Style

It's always nice to be remembered!!

1900 knots!


Righting the wrongs of First Man.

"I'm still goin' upstairs like a bat out of hell!"


Walk on home boy!!
We Are The Mighty

Walk on home boy!!

These pilots definitely gave air traffic controllers a reason to smile that day.

Doctrine Man
Doctrine Man

Doctrine Man

Today marks 71 years since @GenChuckYeager "rocketed past the sound barrier." Never a doubt he had the Right Stuff.


Totally forgot to post this earlier: Yours truly was at a McDonald's in DC the other night munching on apple pie and coffee with friends. The next table over, are kids wearing an SR-71 Blackbird t-shirt and discussing this very page. I couldn't help but overhear their conversation and chuckle within.

If only they'd known who was eavesdropping!!

Doctrine Man
Doctrine Man

Doctrine Man

If you have a grand just sitting around doing nothing... have I got a deal for you.


14390 Air And Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA


(703) 572-4118


The SR-71 Blackbird:

General characteristics

* Crew: 2
* Payload: 3,500 lb (1,600 kg) of sensors
* Length: 107 ft 5 in (32.74 m)
* Wingspan: 55 ft 7 in (16.94 m)
* Height: 18 ft 6 in (5.64 m)
* Wing area: 1,800 ft2 (170 m2)
* Empty weight: 67,500 lb (30 600 kg)
* Loaded weight: 170,000 lb (77 000 kg)
* Max takeoff weight: 172,000 lb (78 000 kg)
* Powerplant: 2× Pratt & Whitney J58-1 continuous-bleed afterburning turbojets, 32,500 lbf (145 kN) each
* Wheel track: 16 ft 8 in (5.08 m)

* Wheel base: 37 ft 10 in (11.53 m)
* Aspect ratio: 1.7


* Maximum speed: Mach 3.2+ (2,200+ mph, 3530+ km/h) at 80,000 ft (24,000 m)
* Range:
o Combat: 2,900 nmi (5400 km)
o Ferry: 3,200 nmi (5,925 km)
* Service ceiling 85,000 ft (25,900m, 16 mi)
* Rate of climb: 11,810 ft/min (60 m/s)
* Wing loading: 94 lb/ft2 (460 kg/m2)
* Thrust/weight: 0.382


There were a number of features in the SR-71 that were designed to reduce its radar signature. The first studies in radar stealth technology seemed to indicate that a shape with flattened, tapering sides would reflect most radar away from the place where the radar beams originated. To this end, the radar engineers suggested adding chines to the design and canting the vertical control surfaces inward. The plane also used special radar-absorbing materials which were incorporated into sawtooth shaped sections of the skin of the aircraft, as well as cesium-based fuel additives to reduce the exhaust plumes' visibility on radar.

The overall effectiveness of these designs is still debated; Ben Rich's team could show that the radar return was, in fact, reduced, but Kelly Johnson later conceded that Russian radar technology was advancing faster than the "anti-radar" technology Lockheed was using to counter it. The SR-71 made its debut years before Pyotr Ya. Ufimtsev's ground-breaking research made possible today's stealth technologies, and, despite Lockheed's best efforts, the SR-71 was still easy to track by radar and had a huge infrared signature when cruising at Mach 3.2 or more. It was visible on air traffic control radar for hundreds of miles, even when not using its transponder. SR-71s were evidently detected by radar, as missiles were often fired at them. The flight characteristics of the SR-71 made it almost invulnerable during its service life; not one was shot down, despite over 4,000 attempts to do so.


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