Skunk Works

The Sunkworks SR-71 Blackbird

This sexy SR-71 Blackbird located in the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly VA. The Space Center is part of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.  The SR-71 was developed as a black project from the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft in the 1960s by Lockheed and its Skunk Works division. The SR-71 was designed for flight at over Mach 3 with a flight crew of two in tandem cockpits, with the pilot in the forward cockpit and the reconnaissance systems officer operating the surveillance systems and equipment from the rear cockpit, and directing navigation on the mission flight path.

This Blackbird accrued about 2,800 hours of flight time during 24 years of active service with the U.S. Air Force. On its last flight, March 6, 1990, Lt. Col. Ed Yielding and Lt. Col. Joseph Vida set a speed record by flying from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., in 1 hour, 4 minutes, and 20 seconds, averaging 2,124 miles per hour. At the flight’s conclusion, they landed at Washington-Dulles International Airport and turned the airplane over to the Smithsonian. I was always enamored with this aircraft and it is always fun to shoot.

Thanks for stopping!

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