SR-71 Operational

Discussion in 'Modern' started by comiso90, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    It seems that the SR-71... A-11 has been in and out of retirement a few times. Are there any in service? Not necessarily with the USAF.. how about NASA? CIA?


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  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    All have been retired AFAIK, this includes the NASA birds. The CIA gave up their birds a long time ago.
     
  3. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Thanks

    They'd be hard to hide... I thought the spooks still flew some...

    whats "a long time ago"?
     
  4. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    For the CIA? I'd guess the late 60s early 70s.
     
  5. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Damn... i guess i confused their birds with NASA's... perhaps they were CIA missions in NASA markings:twisted:
     
  6. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    LOL - I doubt it.

    In the early 80s several of them were taken out of moth balls and put back in the air, it was at a time when Carter realized the Soviet were crawling up our butts, too little too late. I believe these birds flew into the late 80s. At that point I don't believe the CIA contracted any pilots to fly the SR and I believe all A-11s were gone. Any info needed by the CIA at that point could be attained through satellites.
     
  7. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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  8. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Sounds about right
     
  9. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    thanks guys..
     
  10. klarmie

    klarmie Member

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    I love this photo

    3023200322_37dd88bb3f.jpg
     
  11. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Now, this Kelly fella could design aircrafts.... 8)
     
  12. beaupower32

    beaupower32 Well-Known Member

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    Well, believe it or not, when I was stationed at Edwards, (it was around 2002 time frame) I saw a black bird flying. At first, I didnt know what it was, until it turned, and then the silouet was unmistakeable. It had a sound unlike anything I have heard before, and had 2 F-16's as escorts. It might have been a NASA bird, but no doubt it was a Black Bird.
     
  13. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #13 FLYBOYJ, Nov 22, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
    There were 2 or 3 articles left at that time - although the final official flight of the SR 71 is listed in 1999, its possible that the remaining birds were flown away.
     
  14. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I used to see them regularly. I was at Lakenheath, and Mildenhall was about 3.5 air miles away. When they fired up the blackbird for takeoff at Mildenhall, you could hear it a Lekenheath. The you only had to look in that direction and watch it climb. It was a sad time when I heard they were being retired.
     
  15. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    I saw the one at the March Museum and wondered what she would look like flying.
    It's nice to be able to see it up close but it would be even better to have seen it fly.


    Wheels
     
  16. uhhuh35

    uhhuh35 Member

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    I was stationed at Kadena AB Okinawa (1989-92) when the the SR-71 was taken out of service. I have all the Air Forces' aircraft in person but there were only three aircraft that I stopped doing whatever it was I was doing just to watch. They were the U-2 (TR-1) in Korea, The Harrier jet, and the SR-71 in Okinawa.
    I had just arrived in Okinawa in May of 1989 when my wife and I were downtown shopping. I heard this giant "hissing" sound and looked up just in time to see an SR-71 fly over! I was so excited but my wife was just looking at me like I was crazy!

    The mechanics that worked on them would never say if an SR-71 was inbound or not but that didn't matter. All one had to do was see if the parking lot overlooking the runway at Kadena AB was filling up with Japanese owned cars! The JN's always knew when the birds were coming or going. It was the same thing in Korea but that's another story.

    I'll never forget seeing one take off at dawn. It rocketed down the runway with both after burners going. As it rotated for takeoff the afterburner flames were deflected off the runway for a fantastic effect! Ranks right up there with ten foot high header flames from Top Fuel Dragsters in my opinion.
    I also saw what remained from an SR-71 crash near the Phillipines laid out on a hanger floor. Apparently the crew had bailed out and were OK.
     
  17. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    Cool story Uhhuh.
    Thanks :)


    Wheels
     
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