The SR-71 Blackbird

Blackbird Aircraft Stories

Here are the famous stories told by SR-71 pilots. Yes, the fastest speed over the West Coast is here. But you might find that the 'Slowest Flyby' is as thrilling. You decide how much is fact and how much is just a great story!

Crippled SR-71 Blackbird in Emergency Intercepted By Four Swedish Viggens After Violating Sweden’s Airspace

During the 1980s, the U.S. flew regular SR-71 Blackbird aircraft reconnaissance missions in international waters over the Barents Sea and the Baltic Sea, the latter known as “Baltic Express” missions. On June 29, 1987, during one of those missions, a Blackbird launched from RAF Mildenhall, UK, piloted by retired Lt. Cols. Duane Noll and Tom Veltri, experienced a pretty serious inflight emergency.

Number of views (3783)

How the SR-71 Blackbird Got It's Name

How the SR-71 Blackbird Got It's Name

During the presidential elections of 1964 Barry Goldwater accused President Lyndon Johnson that he let military technology lapse. During a press conference on July 1964, President Johnson announced the existence of the SR-71 Strategic Reconnaisance airplance.

Number of views (4949)

SR-71 Blackbird Speed Check Story

Major Brian Shul, USAF Retired
SR-71 Blackbird Speed Check Story

There were a lot of things we couldn't do in an SR-71, but we were the fastest guys on the block and loved reminding our fellow aviators of this fact. People often asked us if, because of this fact, it was fun to fly the jet. Fun would not be the first word I would use to describe flying this plane. Intense, maybe. Even cerebral. But there was one day in our Sled experience when we would have to say that it was pure fun to be the fastest guys out there, at least for a moment.

Number of views (38145)

SR-71 Blackbird - The Slowest Flyby

SR-71 Blackbird - The Slowest Flyby

As a former SR-71 pilot, and a professional keynote speaker, the question I'm most often asked is "How fast would that SR-71 fly?" I can be assured of hearing that question several times at any event I attend. It's an interesting question, given the aircraft's proclivity for speed, but there really isn’t one number to give, as the jet would always give you a little more speed if you wanted it to.

Number of views (11741)

Lieutenant Colonel Ben Bowles saves SR-71 Blackbird #960

Lieutenant Colonel Ben Bowles saves SR-71 Blackbird #960

“On the morning of 29 July, 1968, my navigator, Jimmy Fagg, was not feeling well when we were having our preflight steak and eggs breakfast at the Personal Support Detachment. Butch Sheffield, returning from leave, walked in and mentioned he needed flight time and he would gladly substitute for Jimmy. “The flight was going well. We had just finished refueling and were accelerating thru approx 2.6 Mach and 65,000′, leaving Louisiana heading West. (ed.: usually a 40 minute flight to Sacramento) First indication of a problem was when the right engine “unstarted”. However, this was more serious than a routine inlet unstart.


Number of views (2770)
Visit The Store

Amazon store for SR-71 related items

Want some SR-71 stuff? Visit our Store page to buy anything from books to shirts, to cell phone stickers. All from Amazon.