Image Loading... Image Loading...

Blackbird Airpark


LinkExchange Network

tail.JPG (6466 bytes)

Located on a corner of Plant 42 is the Flight Test Historical Association's Blackbird Airpark. On display is an SR-71, and an A-12. The "Blackbird" and the Oxcart" as they were known in their development days are together here for all to see. 

tail2.jpg (6579 bytes)

Palmdale, California 

blackb1.JPG (10826 bytes) airpark.JPG (12472 bytes)
habu.JPG (6242 bytes)Out of the 50 Blackbirds, A-12's and YF-12's built 20 have been lost.  Eleven are currently in the Antelope Valley - four at Edwards Air Force Base and six in Palmdale including the two pictured above.  The other 19 are all in museums or on display at various Air Force Bases throughout the USA. 
drone.JPG (30774 bytes)

D-21

sitinsr.jpg (37810 bytes)

SR-71

 

Ever wonder where all the Blackbirds are?  Here is a listing of all A-12's, YF-12's and SR-71's.

A-12924 Blackbird Airpark, Palmdale, CA (seen above)
A-12925 USS Intrepid Museum, New York City, N.Y.
A-12926 Lost -May 24, 1963.  Over Nevada water froze in the pitot tube causing an incorrect reading on the Triple Display Instrument.  The aircraft stalled, then entered an inverted spin crashing 14 miles South of Wendover, UT.  Pilot Ken Collins ejected safely.
A-12927 California Museum of Science, L.A.(stored at Skunk Works)
A-12928 Lost on January 5, 1967.  On final at Groom Lake, Nevada the aircraft ran out of fuel due to a faulty fuel gauge.  Pilot Walt Ray  ejected but failed to separate from the ejection seat and was killed when he landed still in the seat.
A-12929 Lost on December 28, 1967.  Over Groom Lake, Nevada the Stability Augmentation System was wired in reverse causing pilot Mel Vojovidich to loose control.   He ejected safely.
A-12930 Huntsville Space and Rocket Museum, AL
A-12931 Minnesota Air National Guard Museum, St. Paul, MN
A-12932 Lost on June 5, 1968 in South China Sea off Philippine Islands.  While on a Functional Check Flight pilot Jack Weeks and the aircraft disappeared with no trace of either found.
A-12933 San Diego Aerospace Museum, CA<.td>
YF-12934 Lost on August 14, 1966 at Edwards AFB, CA.  During landing the aircraft was seriously damaged.  The aft section was mated with the front half of the SR-71 static model to make the SR-71C, 17981 - the last aircraft on this list.
YF-12935 Wright-Patterson AFB Museum, OH
YF-12936 Lost on June 24, 1971 at Edwards AFB, CA.  In traffic pattern for landing, a fire erupted due to a ruptured fuel line.  On final the aircraft was engulfed in fire forcing both crewmen to eject.  Lt. Col. Ronald Layton and Major Bill Curtis ejected safely.
A-12937 On display at the Skunk Works location at Plant 42 in Palmdale, CA.
A-12938 USS Alabama Memorial Park, Mobile, AL
A-12939 Lost on July 9, 1964 at Groom Lake, NV.  On approach a hydraulic failure caused loss of control.  Lockheed test pilot Bill Park ejected safely.
A-12940 Museum of Flight, Seattle, WA.  This aircraft was an M-21 and is displayed with the D-21 drone mated.
A-12941 Lost on July 30, 1966 near Point Mugu, CA.  This was an M-21 that crashed while trying to launch the D-21 drone.  At Mach 3 the drone was launched but got trapped in the shock wave of the aircraft.  It was forced down into the back of the M-21 just behind the LCO's (Launch Control Officer) seat.  Pilot Bill Park and LCO Ray Torick ejected safely however Ray's suit filled with water upon landing, drowning him.   Bill was rescued safely.  This was the end of the M-21/D-21 program.
SR-71950 Lost on January 10, 1967 at Edwards AFB, CA.  The tires blew out during an anti-skid braking test causing a fire which resulted in the loss of the aircraft.   Lockheed test pilot Art Peterson survived.
SR-71951 Pima Museum, Tucson, AZ (modified as NASA YF-12C 937)
SR-71952 Lost on January 25, 1966 near Tucumcari, NM.  The right engine had an unstart while the aircraft was in a 30 degree bank at Mach 3 at 80,000 feet.  The aircraft disintegrated.  Lockheed test pilot Bill Weaver survived even though he never ejected.  The aircraft came apart around him.  The RSO Jim Zwayer was killed during the bailout.
SR-71953 Lost on December 18, 1969 near Shosone, CA.  An in-flight explosion forced Pilot Lt. Col. Joe Rogers and RSO St. Col. Garry Heidelbaugh to eject safely.  No explanation for the explosion was ever found.
SR-71954 Lost on April 11, 1969 at Edwards AFB, CA.  During maximum weight take-off tests the left main tires blew causing a fire which engulfed the aircraft.  Pilot Lt. Col. Bill Skliar and RSO Major Noel Warner escaped safely.
SR-71955 Edwards AFB Museum, CA
SR-71956 Operational, Edwards AFB, NASA (renumbered NASA 831) trainer version AKA SR-71B.
SR-71957 Lost on January 11, 1968 near Beale AFB, CA.  This was an SR-71B trainer version.  Flying over Washington state, the aircraft developed a double generator failure.  On final to Beale both engines flamed out due to fuel pump cavitation.   The aircraft crashed inverted several miles from Beale.  The instructor pilot Lt. Col. Robert Sowers and student pilot Capt. David Fruehauf ejected safely.
SR-71958 Warner-Robbins AFB, GA
SR-71959 Air Force Armament Museum, Eglin AFB, FL
SR-71960 Castle AFB, Merced, CA
SR-71961 Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center, Hutchinson, KS
SR-71962 Palmdale, CA, storage (USAF Reserve Fleet)
SR-71963 Beale AFB Museum, CA
SR-71964 SAC Museum, Offutt AFB, NE
SR-71965 Lost on October 25, 1967 near Lovelock, NV.  While on a night flight the aircraft suffered an Inertial Navigation System failure.  After unknowingly entering a dive, pilot Capt. Roy St. Martin and RSO Capt. John Carnochan ejected safely.
SR-71966 Lost on April 13, 1965 near Las Vegas, NV.  After a night in air refueling, the aircraft entered into a subsonic stall.  Pilot Capt. Earle Boone and RSO Capt. Richard Sheffield ejected safely.
SR-71967 Operational, Det 2, 9th SW, Edwards AFB, CA, USAF
SR-71968 Palmdale, CA, storage (USAF Reserve Fleet)
SR-71969 Lost on May 10, 1970 near Korat Royal Thai AFB, Thailand.  After refueling the aircraft was in a climb back to altitude when it entered a huge thunderstorm with clouds well above 45,000 feet.  Both engines flamed out.  Unable to save the aircraft, Pilot Maj. William Lawson and RSO Maj. Gilbert Martinez ejected safely.
SR-71970 Lost on June 17, 1970 near El Paso, TX.  After refueling, the Blackbird suddenly pitched up and hit the KC-135Q tanker.  RSO Maj. Mortimer Jarvis ejected safely.  Pilot Lt. Col. Buddy Brown broke both legs during the ejection but otherwise landed safely.  The tanker was able to limp back to Beale AFB, CA safely.
SR-71971 Operational, Det 2, 9th SW, Edwards AFB, CA, USAF
SR-71972 Smithsonian Museum, Dulles Annex, VA
SR-71973 Blackbird Airpark, Palmdale, CA (the one I'm sitting in above)  Structural damage retired this bird.
SR-71974 Lost - April, 1989.  While climbing out from Kadena, Okinawa, the right engine exploded severing the hydraulic lines for the flight controls.  Pilot Lt. Col. Dan House and RSO Maj. Blair Bozek headed for the nearest base in the Philippines.   Nearing the coast they lost all control and ejected safely.  They were picked up by fishermen shortly before US rescue forces arrived.  The remains of the Blackbird were recovered.
SR-71975 March AFB Museum, CA
SR-71976 Wright-Patterson AFB, OH
SR-71977 Lost on October 10, 1968 at Beale AFB, CA.  Upon takeoff one of the wheel hubs exploded causing a fire which consumed the aircraft.  Pilot Maj. Gabriel Kardong elected to stay with the aircraft while RSO Maj. James Kogler ejected.  Both survived the incident.
SR-71978 Lost on July 20, 1972 at Kadena AB, Okinawa.  In a severe crosswind, pilot Capt. Dennis Bush had to abort a landing attempt after deploying the braking chute.   He jettisoned the chute and went around for another try without the braking chute.   The aircraft came in fast and sent off the end of the runway ripping off the main landing gear and causing considerable damage to the underside of the aircraft.  The RSO Capt. James Fagg and the pilot survived safely.  The aircraft was nicknamed the "Rapid Rabbit."  After an unsuccessful attempt at destroying the aircraft by burning, it was buried near the end of the runway in a small hill now known as Habu Mt.
SR-71979 History & Traditions Museum, Lackland AFB, TX
SR-71980 Operational, Edwards AFB, CA, NASA (renumbered NASA 844) currently doing LASRE tests (Linear Aerospike SR-71 Experiment).
SR-71981 Hill AFB Museum, UT.  This was a "C" model built from the front end of an SR-71 and the aft end of a YF-12 #934.

Top of page

Top of list