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Lockheed Blackbird — - SR-71A low pass after mission. RAF Mildenhall, UK  1985
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Lockheed Blackbird —

Soumis

SR-71A low pass after mission. RAF Mildenhall, UK 1985

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Larry Toler
I thought that tower looked familiar. Unfortunately, I didn't get there until November of 1990 and just missed DET4 Blackbirds.
Alan Brown
Didn't see much of them in Okinawa in 1969 to 1971. Occasionally a night landing, or some pilot "training" as long as there were clouds around to hide in when needed.
Always a beautiful aircraft to see when you could.
Diana Rose
WoW! Whatta Bird!!!
wavebuff
Nice one Gary!
Stephen Jensen
Fantastic !
Andrea Gentilini
The most beautiful airplane ever built !!
WhiteKnight77
I saw them quite often at Okinawa, from both sides of the fence. One could sit in the cafateria of the PAX terminal on the second floor and look right into their hanger. They would fly over Futenma at night and you knew it was the Habu by the rotating beacon and 2 blue-white cones of flames coming out the back end of those engines. Sadly, I didn't have a long enough lens to get good pictures of them coming in for a landing at Kadena from Futenma.
john edwards
Almost 50 years ago I had the privilege of flying Kelly and his good friend Dick Stemler up to Santa Maria CA to get strawberries
James Hickerson
The most beautiful plane! I had the pleasure of parking and picking up the drag bag a couple of times at DM AFB Tucson in the late 60's.
A4PLT
They delayed my Take Off in 1986 from Kadena , I even had a DV Code 3 on board!
Bart Steger
Sadly I never got to see one of these in the air. I think this might be the best looking aircraft of all time.
ken kemper
Superb Photo Gary.............
chalet
Another masterpiece of that maestro of maestros Kelly Johnston.
JEHA5340
Fantastic !
Will Sutton
Lucky enough to be stationed at Beale AFB from July '85 thru July '89 and never failed to be amazed when the weekly mission at dusk would leave the ground, swing towards base housing snuggled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, and disappear overhead on two massive blue flames in the dark, rattling our windows. Was glad I moved on to next assignment before these magnificent 'National Assets' were retired because no one wanted to foot the bill any longer.
George Hall
I built a model kit of this bomber. I do mean BOMBER. It is amazing the payload this sleek plane can hold inside it's bomb bay doors.
JsckT85224
The best airplane ever. Period
Bruce Clayman
Excellent Photo...thanks!
flitton
I remember seeing them at RAF Mildenhall and at Kadena AB.

The first one I ever saw, in about 1972, (I was in 8th grade), we were on a field trip to the Ogden Airport (KOGD), we were in the tower getting a 'tour' and the whole tower shook with a sonic boom! About 10 or 20 minutes later, we were on the ramp and saw what looked like a space ship going overhead 1200 to 1500 feet overhead, approaching Hill AFB (KHIF). Man, that was something to see!

But by far the most impressive, was seeing it takeoff at Kadena from the cargo ramp. That was a real hot plane! Always got your attention!
Neil Klapthor
Beautiful shot...beautiful aircraft!
I was fortunate to get an up close look at the Blackbird on a special tour at Beale in '73. Got to watch a start up, taxi, and takeoff which was jaw dropping. I don't know if it was normal procedure or the pilot was hot-dogging a bit, but it seemed like he had just cleared the far end of the runway, then pulled the nose up and seemed to launch like a rocket! It was incredible.
DaveRK
In the mid-90's, I was working near Mojave, Ca. At the end of the day, we decided to take a ride around the area.
Turned a corner and there was an SR-71 just sitting there on the other side of a fence. I have no idea what the situation was, but was in awe of just driving around and there was a Blackbird sitting there.
millard humphreys
A “wannabe” pilot’s dream machine
Jim Martin
Was in OSH at AirVenture a few years back, amazing aircraft. When it left there was a KC-135 waiting above.
Robert Oldershaw
Great picture - captures the speed with the buildings blurred in the background.
Thomas Donovan
I was stationed at Beale AFB (1965-1967) and had the privilege of processing the film from the SR-71. At the same time, we would do extenive TDY at Edwards AFB in the Mojave Desert for flight tests of the platform and camera systems. I was always proud to be part of the RTS Wing. Sad when they shut her down
Thomas Donovan
I was stationed at Beale AFB 1965-67. I was associated with the camera systems (processing film). I was proud to be associated with this beautiful bird. Our wing (9th Recon Tech wing) Handled all the recon missions she flew We spent lots of TDY at Edwards in the Mojave flight testing the systems. I was proud to be part of her. Sad day when they shut her down
adelma
Gorgeous! I enjoyed 3 years with Lockheed ('65 to '67) at Edwards AFB, working the YF-12 and the SR's - a very lucky guy!
RainbowRiver
In AF pilot training back in the late 60's, we had an SR-71 with an engine failure divert into Reese one afternoon. After it was in the hanger and certain engine parts had been covered with paper, we were allowed to look it over up close and climb up on portable stairs to see the cockpits. In response to my question, I was told by the pilot that it handled very conventionally in the pattern. An engine was flown in and it departed a couple of days later, swinging around after takeoff and making a (very) low pass after takeoff. It was quite a sight.
Robert Dale
MANY YEARS 71-85 SUPPORTING THIS GRAND OLE LADY ALL OVER THE WORLD IN BOTH PEACEFUL AND NOT SO PEACEFUL TIMES. I WAS A KC-135 Q BOOM OPERATOR AND HAD MANY A CLOSE UP VIEWS, CONNECTIONS AND AIRBORNE COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE SR-71.

I WAS SELECTED TO BE THE MID POINT REFUELING TANKER OVER LABRADOR ON THE SR SPEEDRUN FROM LONDON TO LOS ANGELES. SUCH A LOVELY LADY!

mANY TRIPS TO OKINAWA AND SUPPORTING THE OPERATIONS
Glen Charles
WOW!!! There is just something sexy about a SLEDD!!!!! Love this photo!!
William Owens
Such a stupid move to end the use of these (the very best) recon aircraft. I feel sure there were still many surprise uses for these beasts...
William Barker
Nice shot Gary! I spent may nights in the late 60s processing mission tapes at Beale. Loved those blue flames and shock cones when they took off at night.
Curtis Berge
I was stationed at Mildenhall from 86-90 working at transient alert. Picked up her drag chute and stringer ties many, many times off the runway. The only time in my military career which I was able to "legally" drive a government vehicle on the runway as fast as it could go - to and from the pilot chute to the main chute and off the runway before a Q model tanker landed on us! Describe picking up the main chute as it was like hauling in a JP-7 soaked deep sea fishing net.
gmapm1
Very good picture. Will save it for my background.
Mike Morgan
On my way home from Vietnam in 1970, we refueled in Okinawa. While on the tarmac waiting to take off, a Sr-71 pulled up right next to us in line for takeoff. Our pilot, obviously giddy over the sight of this amazing aircraft, told us that the SR-71 pilot had graciously allowed us to go first. We took off , climbed to 34k feet and our pilot had everyone look out the right side and UP to see the contrail of the SR passing us rather quickly. I will never forget that feeling.
Edward Ludwig
We were doing our pre take off checklist when an SR 71 called Mildenhall ground for taxi takeoff to Edward AFB ETE 2 hours 30 min. When I was at Grand forks AFB one of my guys mentioned seeing what he thought was an SR 71 pulling out of a hangar and taking off pre sunrise to the Operations NCOIC. his comment was you didn't see anything and you didn't hear anything.
David Apps
Some aircraft are just awesome!
WoodsideSA
Pure "Thunderbirds" stuff.
An amazing aircraft.
Gary JonesPhoto Uploader
TO WoodsideSA: Funny you mentioon Thunderbirds; the pilot on this shot was former Thunderbird pilot Jim Jiggens. He usually did a low pass or two after a mission if he had enough fuel remaining.

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