To Keep The Peace They Flew Alone...Unarmed

"Reconnaissance in a Class of One"



Having served in the United States Air Force for 20 years, I have marveled at the supreme flying machine called the SR-71...

I served for five years in the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (SAC) at Beale Air Force Base in Marysville, California. My job was to maintain, inspect, launch and recover the SR-71 Blackbird. From the moment I found out I was to be assigned to the secret Blackbird, to the day I left the organization, it was a love affair to last a lifetime. Each and every launch was a sight to behold. The awesome fact that I was about to launch the worlds fastest air-breathing and highest flying aircraft in the world redefined, to me, the meaning of responsibility. Hello, and welcome to the SR-71 web page. My name is Leland Haynes and I am a retired USAF Master Sergeant. I served on the Blackbird from 1969 to 1974. Just as my tenure with the the 9th SRW was about to end, I was informed we were to make a New York to London speed record attempt. My aircraft (#61-7972) was selected for the speed run based on reliability records of the plane. In August of 1974, I arrived at Farnborough England to receive the aircraft as it landed. My assistant Crew Chief was to launch the plane out from Beale AFB in California.....

bt-eagle.jpgAlma Mater and Recollections From the Past: SR-71 personal recollections of those that helped make it fly. If Qualified, Join the Blackbird Association here. The Alma Mater page is back on line!

bt-eagle.jpgThe Speed Run: SR-71 Aircraft #972 sets the Transatlantic World Speed Record-New York to London in Less than Two Hours.

bt-eagle.jpgThe Buddy Brown Book: The list of everyone who ever flew the SR-71 - or any other blackbird variant.

bt-eagle.jpgView 45 SR-71 Photos: Taken at Farnborough Air Show in 1974.

bt-eagle.jpgQuestions and Thoughts on my experience with the Blackbird: How fast does it fly; How high does it fly; How hot does it get; How good are the cameras; What does Habu mean?

bt-eagle.jpgSR-71 News and Events: The latest info on the Blackbird. Past Archive Records of the demise of the Blackbirds in the halls of the Congress and the Pentagon.

bt-eagle.jpgUSAF SR-71's Retired; Beale Air-Fest 1997: USAF SR-71's Retired. Clinton kills the Blackbirds by a Veto of Funding. Recap of the SR-71 flyover and static display at Beale AFB Air Fest '97.

bt-eagle.jpgSR-71 Movies on DVD  Order "SR-71 Master DVD" with seven movies or the "SR-71 Blackbird Retirement Ceremony" at Beale AFB in 1990. Go directly to the URL:

bt-eagle.jpgMach 3+ Links: 64 Links to the best the Internet has to offer on the SR-71. Specification; History; Records set; Aircraft lost; NASA Photo Server; Lockheed Martin Skunk Works; Crewmembers; YF12A; D21 Drone; Photo Archives and Memorabilia.

bt-eagle.jpgBlackbird Reunion-2005: Presentation and Awards

bt-eagle.jpgSR-71 Blackbirds Web Site Index: A brief description of each page on this site and a link to each of the 162 Pages.

bt-eagle.jpgAn American Patriot Speaks Out:  Brian Shul's 2002 Veterans Day speech at March ARB, Ca.

bt-eagle.jpgSR-71 Blackbird Screensaver: Now you can download a great Blackbird Screensaver that contains 170 images. There is a Free Trial and a Full version available. Go here for details or to download: You can special order the Image Blackbird Screensaver or the SR-71 Video Screensaver on CD-ROM using PayPal Secure ordering (All Major Credit Cards) at this URL:

bt-eagle.jpg"Sled Driver: The Limited Edition": Check out Brian Shul's new book. Order and reserve your copy One of 3500 limited editions.

bt-eagle.jpgNew Art Print by John Shaw Released by the Blackbird Association:  Artwork by John Shaw titled "Outrun the Thunder" contains over 30 Crewmember signatures. Details and order information is available at the underlined link. 

bt-eagle.jpgOwn a Piece of Titanium From a Blackbird: Dan Freeman, a Retired Air Force Machine Shop Chief is offering unique Titanium articles for sale at this web site. You can custom order to fit your needs. All Titanium that was stored at Barstow (2,151,760 lbs total of all materials) has been shredded and recycled. A must see Web Site!


Visitors to this page since April 15,1996

Lockheed Martin Photo

Photo Courtesy Lockheed Martin Corporation

Search the entire 191 web pages of the "SR-71 Blackbirds" Web Site:

(Courtesy:  SpaceSurfer.Com)



NASA's X-43A "Hyper-X" vehicle

The X-43A flew un-manned to a speed of Mach 7 or nearly 5,000 Miles Per Hour on March 27, 2004. The Scramjet engine was lit for 10 seconds. 

Update from the NASA Web Site: 

Nov 16, 7:52 PM  A tiny unmanned NASA "scramjet" soared above the Pacific Ocean Tuesday at nearly 10 times the speed of sound, or almost 7,000 mph, in a successful demonstration of a radical new engine technology. The 12-foot-long X-43A supersonic combustion ramjet reached about Mach 9.7, said Leslie Williams, a spokeswoman at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base. The exotic aircraft was designed to fly under its own power for about 10 seconds after separating from a booster rocket at 110,000 feet, then glide to a splash landing. The X-43A, mounted on a Pegasus rocket used to boost it to flight speed, was carried under the wing of a B-52 aircraft and released at an altitude of 40,000 feet over a test range off the Southern California coast. The rocket motor then fired for a 90-second ascent.

The Full X-43A Story is here at this URL:

So, now what is the fastest airplane in the world? 

The following information should be helpful:

The X-43A flight easily set a world speed record for an air-breathing or jet engine aircraft. The previous known record was held by a ramjet powered missile, which achieved slightly over Mach 5. High-speed air-breathing engines, like a ramjet, mix compressed air from the atmosphere with fuel to provide combustion. The same is true of the scramjet or supersonic combustion ramjet that powers the X-43A. The highest speed attained by a rocket-powered airplane, NASA's X-15 aircraft, was Mach 6.7. The fastest air-breathing manned vehicle, the SR-71, achieved slightly more than Mach 3. The X-43A more than doubled the top speed of the jet-powered SR-71. 

Editors Note: The X-43A was un-manned, carried aloft by a B-52 and rocket assisted to an altitude of 110,000 feet before the scramjet engine on the X-43A ignited and boosted the speed of the craft to Mach 9.7. The X-43A is now in the Guinness Book of World records as the fastest air-breathing aircraft in the world. The SR-71 is still the fastest air-breathing, manned aircraft in the world. 

Thank you for visiting my web page. I hope the information and links provided will assist you in your school report or information you desire about one of the most unique aircraft ever built...The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. Specific data information was provided by Air Force Magazine and written by William P. Schlitz, October 1974. One other source was the U.S.A.F. Aerospace Safety magazine, November 1974. The greatest source of all though was the people that designed, flew and maintained the Blackbirds.....The Blackbird Family. Thank you for your contributions to this website.

Photo and Art Credits

There has been a tremendous amount of contributions made by members of the Blackbird Community since this web page started in 1996. Credit is given on each individual's contribution on the page's in which their photos and or documents appear. The webmaster for this site is indebted and grateful for their cooperation in making this web site as historically accurate as possible. A large portion of this web site is copyrighted and reproduction of images and/or text is prohibited. Storage on any retrieval system is prohibited. In most cases, permission to reproduce data from this site for news articles will be granted. Contact for inquiries. In addition, all students of Aeronautical Studies may use any and all material on this web site to further their educational goals, however this material may not be used on any web pages or books without the permission of the original copyright holder. Top lead-in photo belongs to the author and may be reproduced with proper credit. "SR-71 Blackbird" (sr71fi~1.jpg) is the copyrighted art work of Edwin Markham and may not be reproduced in any format without his permission. "Last Hot Flight" and "Final Ascent" is the art works of Dru Blair and may not be reproduced in any format. Permission to use these art works has been granted exclusively for use on these pages. "Pilots" belong to the author and may not be reproduced in any format without permission. "Shock Diamonds" photo-sr71engb.jpg belongs to DeWayne Currier. "Final Flight" belongs to the Smithsonian; The Lockheed Blackbird Photo Archive is copyrighted by Lockheed Martin Corporation (permission granted). The 45 Photos taken at Farnborough belong to Lockheed, Jim Fitzgerald or the Author. All other photo credits and data contained within this site is the copyrighted property of the Auburn Files in cooperation with Leland Haynes, author and webmaster "SR-71 Blackbirds".
Since January 2011, this site is maintained and updated by David Allison,

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First Created: April 15, 1996 - Last Revised: July 15, 2013
Copyright 1996 Leland R. Haynes     Email:

Author is a member of the Blackbird Association, Roadrunners Internationale, HTML Writers Guild and International Webmasters Association 




 Disclaimer: This series of  documents in no way represents Willamette Valley Internet, NASA, Lockheed or Lockheed Martin; any private company, any private person or U.S. Government agency. All information is stated as is: Compiled and edited by myself.

Leland Haynes, Webmaster, SR-71 Blackbirds

If you don't know what happened after the SR-71 Blackbird was retired, then this link may help....but remember it is pure speculation:

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