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Blackbird Air Park

SR-71 and A-12 aircraft
The centerpiece of the museum is the tandem display of the SR-71 and its predecessor, the A-12.
The SR-71 is pictured on the left, with the A-12 to the right.

The SR-71A reached a speed of Mach 1.5 during its maiden flight from Plant 42 on Dec 22, 1964. After extensive flight testing at nearby Edwards AFB, the Blackbird entered operational service with the Strategic Air Command (SAC) in Jan 1966 at Beale AFB, California. Primary overseas operating locations were Kadena AB, Japan and RAF Mildenhall, England. On Mar 6, 1990, and SR-71 set a transcontinental coast to coast record, flying 2,404 statute miles in 68 min 17 sec.
This aircraft, #61-7973, was delivered to SAC in 1968. It served its entire career in operational reconnaissance with the 9th SRW. It’s last flight was July 21, 1987 from Mildenhall to Plant 42. It has 1729.9 total flying hours. Restoration courtesy of Lockheed Advanced Development Company.

The A-12 was the proof-of-concept vehicle for the SR-71 / YF-12 family of “Blackbirds.” It was the 12th in a series of designs for a U-2 replacement from Kelly Johnson’s “Skunk Works” at Lockheed, hence the designation “A-12.” Although its operational service is shrouded in secrecy, research indicates that the A-12 was used in covert operations by the CIA during the 1960s.
Of the fifteen A-12’s produced, this is the prototype aircraft, #60-6924 – the first one built and flown. It completed its maiden flight on 26 April 1962 with Lockheed test pilot Louis Schalk at the controls (it did, however, momentarily lift off during a high-speed taxi check two days earlier). Restoration courtesy of Lockheed Advanced Development Company.

U-2 aircraft - side view U-2 aircraft - front view
The U-2 was flown for the first time in August of 1955, with upgraded versions being flown to this day. It has been a workhorse of aerial surveillance for almost half a century. Unlike the SR-71 which can travel at speeds exceeding mach 3, the U-2 is a sub-sonic aircraft relying on its ability to reach great altitudes (above 70,000 ft.) for protection.

Display of photos in museum Display of photos in museum
A trailer houses the museum's display of photos as well as technical and historical information about the Blackbird aircraft.

The Blackbird Air Park is located at the corner of 25th Street East and Avenue P, in Palmdale. See map.
It is open to the public from 11 AM to 4 PM, Friday thru Sunday. Admission and parking are free.

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