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SR-71 Blackbird/Timelines

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A timeline (or several) relating to SR-71 Blackbird.

The SR-71 timeline here is a compilation of important dates pulled from many sources.[1]

  • December 24, 1957: First J-58 engine run.
  • May 1, 1960: Francis Gary Powers is shot down in a U-2 over the Soviet Union.
  • June 13, 1962: SR-71 mock-up reviewed by Air Force.
  • July 30, 1962: J58 completes pre-flight testing.
  • December 28, 1962: Lockheed signs contract to build six SR-71 aircraft.
  • July 25, 1964: President Johnson makes public announcement of SR-71.
  • October 29, 1964: SR-71 prototype (#61-7950) delivered to Palmdale.
  • December 7, 1964: Beale AFB, CA announced as base for SR-71.
  • December 22, 1964: First flight of the SR-71 with Lockheed test pilot Bob Gilliland at AF Plant #42.
  • July 2, 1967: Jim Watkins and Dave Dempster fly first international sortie in SR-71A #61-7972 when the Astro-Inertial Navigation System ( ANS ) fails on a training mission and they accidentally fly into Mexican airspace.
  • November 3, 1967: A-12 and SR-71 conduct a reconnaissance fly-off. Results were questionable.
  • February 5, 1968: Lockheed ordered to destroy A-12, YF-12, and SR-71 tooling.
  • March 8, 1968: First SR-71A (#61-7978) arrives at Kadena AB (OL 8) to replace A-12s.
  • March 21, 1968: First SR-71 (#61-7976) operational mission flown from Kadena AB over Vietnam.
  • May 29, 1968: CMSGT Bill Gormick begins the tie-cutting tradition of Habu crews neck-ties.
  • December 3, 1975: First flight of SR-71A #61-7959 in "Big Tail" configuration.
  • April 20, 1976: TDY operations started at RAF Mildenhall in SR-71A #17972.
  • July 27, 1976 - July 28, 1976: SR-71A sets speed and altitude records (Altitude in Horizontal Flight: 85,068.997 ft. and Speed Over a Straight Course: 2,193.167 mph).
  • August 1980: Honeywell starts conversion of AFICS to DAFICS.
  • January 15, 1982: SR-71B #61-7956 flies its 1,000th sortie.
  • November 22, 1989: Air Force SR-71 program officially terminated.
  • January 21, 1990: Last SR-71 (#61-7962) left Kadena AB.
  • January 26, 1990: SR-71 is decommissioned at Beale AFB, CA.
  • March 6, 1990: Last SR-71 flight under SENIOR CROWN program, setting 4 world records.
  • July 25, 1991: SR-71B #61-7956/NASA #831 officially delivered to NASA Dryden.
  • October 1991: Marta Bohn-Mayer becomes first female SR-71 crew-member.
  • September 28, 1994: Congress votes to allocate $100 million for reactivation of three SR-71s.
  • April 26, 1995: First reactivated SR-71A (#61-7971) makes its first flight after restoration by Lockheed.
  • June 28, 1995: First reactivated SR-71 returns to Air Force at Detachment 2.
  • August 28, 1995: Second reactivated SR-71A (#61-7967) makes first flight after restoration.
  • October 19, 1997: The last flight of SR-71B #61-7956 at Edwards AFB Open House.
  • October 9, 1999: The last flight of the SR-71 (#61-7980/NASA 844).
  • September 2002: Final resting places of #956, #971, and #980 are made known.
  • December 15, 2003: SR-71 #972 is on first display at the National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia.

References

  1. http://www.sr-71.org/blackbird/sr-71/