Sunday, June 19, 2011

Blackbird in a Box (or not...)

Moving the SR-71

The first trip wasn't as fast as future ones would be...

Apparently this picture isn't of a SR-71 Blackbird in a box as I tweeted earlier. It is the SR-71's predecessor, the A-12 secretly being transported to Groom Lake, otherwise known as Area 51 (See Area 51 Declassified at National Geographic They have some cool pics in the photo gallery). How many 'UFO sightings' do you think this airplane was responsible for?

After a bit of research, I have replaced the SR-71 at the top of my 'bad-ass' aircraft list with the A-12. The reasons are three-fold?

  1. The A-12 was faster.

    What??? But the SR-71 has the speed record to this day!

    That is an 'official' speed record... You can't have a speed record for an aircraft that nobody knows about. Which brings me to my second reason.
  2. The A-12 was classified until 1981. They last flew in '68 but were kept in top secret storage until de-classified. The A-12's were CIA planes... Spooks!
  3. The only remaining M-21 (a variant of the A-12 to launch a D-21 drone) is located at the Museum of Flight not far from where I live. I can go stand under its wing and see the massive Pratt & Whitney J58 engines first hand.

BTW, happy fathers day, fathers! I'm luckily to have a dad and a father-in-law that share my fascination of all that flies. It's always enjoyable to talk airplane with them!


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