In 1968 (1967?) a SR-71 made an emergency landing at Grand Forks AFB and
was "parked" between two B-52 hangers close to the N/S road that paralleled the
base runway. The aircraft was completely visible to anyone using the road.
Immediately after landing, GFAFB security established machine gun "nests"
close to the plane. The two man crew could not exit the plane until a C-130
arrived from Edwards AFB with the ground support equipment and aircraft
technicians to evacuate the crew and "fix" whatever the problem(s) were. Of course,
everyone on the base came to see the 71 and security had to control traffic.
After the "fixes" were accomplished (tw o days?), the 71 exited the base
heading north. A few minutes later it returned a t a very low altitude at
tremendous speed in a fly by. It was awesome and was probably witnessed by about
everyone on the base. Eye candy for people who like airplanes. Grab your
beverage and relax for a few minutes of awesome beauty. The SR-71 was the creation
of Kelly Johnson, Lockheed, Eisenhower and the Air Force. It was envisioned
in the '50s, first flew in the early '60s, retired in the '80s, briefly
brought back in the '90s. In all, 13 units of the single seat A-12 were built,
and 32 of the Pilot + Recon two seat SR-71 units were built. Five A-12s were
lost, one is stored. Twelve two seaters were lost.. The remaining 27 are on
display around the USA . The closest is at Atwater , the Old Castle AFB Museum
at Merced with 50 other classic warplanes. You probably have a better
opportunity of viewing the one in San Diego . Ask me and I'll tell you where the
others are. NY, OR, OH, DC, etc. I can find most answers to most questions. Just
ask. Start with the 2000+ mph, the 80,000 feet + altitude. More if you
wish. So enjoy. One more thing - the author of the captions to the picture in
this video made one misstatement, due to youth. The U-2 Recon aircraft was
created in 1955, flew operationally in 1956. Kelly thought the USSRwould shoot it
down in 18 months. Lucky us, it flew until Gary Powers was downed on 1 May
1960. But Kelly Johnson already had the go-ahead from Ike for the A-12. It
first flew in 1962, JFK kept the manufacture of it active. No one told LBJ,
'cause everyone knew he would spill the secret. He wasn't tolduntil the week
after JFK left us. And sure enough, LBJ gave out the secret in a matter of
months. Anyhow, the most interesting, most exciting five years of my life were
spent in the program, as a KC-135 refueling pilot. Where the Blackbird went,
we went. You will see several refuelings in the following
A Flash Video slide show. Amazing.
Edited by garmanma, 20 March 2009 - 08:59 PM.