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Tigers: Tracking a Legend
Lockheed SR-71B Blackbird
On loan from the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
Did You Know?
- This is the only SR-71B Blackbird left in the world!
- Although frequently fired upon, none of the 32 Blackbirds produced were ever shot down by enemy missiles.
- No reconnaissance aircraft in history has operated in more hostile airspace or with such complete impunity.
- The SR-71 Blackbird is a long-range, advanced, strategic reconnaissance aircraft used by the U.S. Air Force during the Cold War.
- To withstand high temperatures generated by friction in the upper atmosphere during sustained Mach 3 flights, 93% of the Blackbird's airframe consists of titanium alloy.
- Throughout its nearly 24-year career (from 1966-1980s), the SR-71 remained the world's fastest and highest-flying operational aircraft. From 80,000 feet, it could survey 100,000 square miles of Earth's surface per hour.
- On Sept. 1, 1974, an SR-71 flew from New York to London in 1 hour, 54 minutes, 56 seconds-smashing the previous trans-Atlantic speed record by nearly three hours!
|Wingspan||55 ft. 6 in.|
|Length||107 ft. 4 in.|
|Height||18 ft. 5 in.|
|Weight||59,999 lbs. (empty); 172,000 lbs. (loaded)|
|Maximum Speed||Mach 3+ (over 2,000 mph)|
|Service Ceiling||85,000 ft. and 16 miles|
|Engine||Two Pratt & Whitney J58 axial-flow turbojets with afterburners, producing 32,500 lbs. of thrust|