Blackbird Archive Introduction

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The Blackbird Archive at SR-71 Online exists in remembrance of the greatest air-breathing aircraft ever built, the Blackbird. At this site, you will find an in-depth look at all variants of the Blackbird and their careers as high-speed air vehicles. This site holds one of the largest Blackbird image galleries on the Internet today, an archive that is continuously expanding. This information archive also is readily expanding, as resources are found to build new features.

The Blackbird is an exquisite aircraft because it has held a niche in aviation history for well over 35 years. In addition, with noting that aviation is nearly one hundred years old, the SR-71 and its other variants have indeed held a long period of record-breaking speed and altitude for its type, over one-third of the life of aviation. Another noteworthy observation is that the world's fastest jet aircraft came only sixty years after the birth of aviation. Of course the 20th century is noteworthy of the technological revolution and the SR-71 is a prime example of this boom.

Many people associate the Blackbird with these compelling features and disregard the true purpose of the Blackbird. As you may as well already know, the Blackbird is a reconnaissance platform, with the exception of the YF-12A variant, which is an interceptor. As a reconnaissance platform, the A-12 and SR-71 served in the Vietnam conflict, one of the more memorable military engagements. Also, these two platforms monitored activity along the borders of Communist North Korea from their Okinawa base. After the A-12's retirement, the SR-71 finished out Vietnam and began to patrol the powder kegs of Eastern Europe heavily from its RAF Mildenhall operating location. The results of the Blackbird's strategic mission are what the aircraft is about. The aircraft had played an important role in military conflicts for nearly thirty years, only being superceded by spy satellites.

Now the Blackbird resides in museums for the world to get a closer look at the remaining thirty airframes. Although not all Blackbirds have made their way to museums, they will be soon. NASA's program has been cancelled and it is unlikely that the SR-71 will ever fly again. Feel free to use this site to keep up on any possible aircraft moves and other Blackbird-related news.

Of course, an introduction of this type cannot be complete without giving honor to those who have helped make this resource possible. All of those who have contributed information/photos are truly thanked. Before you leave this site, please be sure to view the credits.

Please enjoy this archive as it is a tribute to great achievements in aerospace. This archive has been made as accurate as possible. Please accept an apology for any mistakes, if any, in this archive. Also, feel free to leave any comments via the comment form located in the 'Contact' link at the bottom of every page.