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World's fastest jet crew reunites with SR-71 spy plane

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(CNN) — For the first time in 40 years, the fastest jet flight crew in the world reunited with the once super-secret spy plane that put them in the history books. At the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia, retired U.S. Air Force pilot Maj. Gen. Eldon "Al" Joersz and Lt. Col. George "GT" Morgan climbed into the cockpit Thursday of their Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird on the 40th anniversary of their record-breaking flight. ( Mais...

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BaronG58 6
Interesting fact I read a few years years back about the SR-71 is the titanium required to build the SR-71 came from Russia. The United States did not have the ore supply.Only a few places in the world had the rutile ore required. The CIA set up a number of shell companies to purchase the ore. How ironic. Russia furnished the titanium to build the aircraft we used to spy on them.
jbqwik 2
Hah, yes, almost cruel, eh?
You have to appreciate Russian pragmatism. I have a vision of them giving a knowing shrug and a Da!, then back to business as usual.
sparkie624 5
Great Article.... Was too bad they had to retire it without something to replace it with... Great to see those guys reunited with the plane. Thanks for sharing.
30west 2
Sparkie, As far as we know.
jbqwik 1
I'm looking at my copy of AW&ST, 09/04/2013, pg. 18, "Son Of Blackbird". Still relevant.
sparkie624 1
Good Point! But knowing obama, he would have told everyone.... He keeps a secret worse than a 3 year old being baited with a scoop of ice cream!
James Driskell -1
There is always someone that feels a need to politicize his comments in some of the threads of this list. As LADY MACBETH said,"Out, damned spot! Out, I say!" So therefore, should you also go!
jbqwik 3
Tracked this amazing plane one time, spring of '67 at the Blaine BUIC facility. Highly unauthorized, caused a lot of trouble for me. The computer generated speed was actually faster than the official speed record. A computer error? I don't think so. We tracked it until it went out of our coverage in northern Cal, plenty of time to get an average. The SR's true top speed has never been tested AFAIK.
Ed Merriam 3
sorta similar, in 2014 LAX got shut down by a U-2, since "FL600" wasn't allowed by the computer
jbqwik 2
Ah, so, you see our military ops wasn't subject to such limits. In the incident I mention above I issued two height requests. One came back 89K, the other 90K. So, even tho that was the extreme limit of coverage it's probably legit. And damn impressive.
Jimmy Robinson 2
At the museum, one of the pilots said he believed it was about mach 3.3 but another said he saw it get up to mach 3.5 sometimes. Wow.
charlie lange 1
Yah I think there's some speeds we still don't know aboit with this incredible bird. Built back when things weren't designed and built by committee. Kelly Johnson.
Jim Quinn 3
After 40 years I'm fairly certain there are some aircraft that will beat it, but boy! What a record! And what a machine that broke all molds. From what I know, this aircraft and the crews that flew it did some incredibly important missions for our country (and others) and I salute them.
bentwing60 2
Kind of amazin that it ain't been topped after all these years and won't be unless the U.S. does it, or hasn't already. I bet it's a smooth ride at 800.

Tom Roberts 2
If you got some spare time, do a youtube search for SR-71 flyover, make a bowl of popcorn, and enjoy.
sparkie624 1
Very true. there are some good SR-71 stuff out there.
Joseph Davis 2
Watched it take off and land many times as I went to Kadena AFB in Okinawa in 1972 and 1977 while in the Marines. A beauty to watch. Seemed like many stopped and watched each time. From pull out of its hangar to start up, then a short taxi to 1/3 down the runway, and then the explosion as it screamed down the runway then a little past 1/2 way it went up and on one occasion turned almost straight up and disappeared into the clouds. Poetry in motion! Landing - you saw it turn and lined up for the runway - then you heard it. Beautiful!
bentwing60 1
I'm sorry I missed it!
DanT1953 1
Really terrific article and aircraft. During the 1973 October War missions, a series of unexplained loud "bangs" was heard along the east coast. Later it was disclosed that these were the sonic booms from the SR-71 going out to the Middle East, and returning.


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