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Me and my fascination for the Blackbird

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    Me and my fascination for the Blackbird

    As i promised Sterkoder in my just bought a Mac thread, I will make a post about the Lockheed Blackbirds; the A-12, YF-12, and the SR-71.

    Having grown up with a dad whose an airforce officer in the Royal Norwegian Airforce (RNoAF) I have inherited some interest for planes, and military ones in particular. As a kid you do get a fascination for pinnacle machines; the ultimate in it's class. The Blackbird fits nicely into this category as it's still the fastest airplane that's piloted by a human and takes off and lands on it's own. Looking at it, it's amazing to think this thing first flew in 1962. Ever since I learned about it as a kid I have wanted to see it for real. My wish came true in 2006, when I got to see it on the USS Intrepid, not only did I get to see it, I touched it's titanium fuselage as well.

    At the USS Intrepid

    Yes, that's me back in 2006

    Then, fast forward to 2009

    I have three models of it. The first is a 1/48 Revell kit, which is very old, then it's a 1/72 Revell kit that's slightly newer, then there's the 1/200 model I bought at the gift shop at the National Air-and-Space Museum at Dulles International Airport. Sterkoder requested some macro of that, so here goes:

    Anyways for more pictures of the real thing, NASA has a few nice galleries: First there's The high speed and sonic boom studies gallery, then The Dryden image gallery

    Then finally, a little video:

    Olympus user
    E-M1, E-M5
    w/ Lots of new and old (adapted lenses)...

    Hurtigruten ships traveled on:
    MS Richard With, MS Nordnorge, MS Nordkapp, MS Nordlys, MS Finnmarken, MS Midnatsol (Both old and new)

    Cruise ships traveled on:
    MS Sunbird, former RCI Song of America, now MS Louis Olympia (August 2002)
    MS Adventure of the Seas (October 2010)
    MS Vision of the Seas (June 2012)
    MS Enchantment of the Seas (October 2016)

    Thank you for the pictures. It looks like you made it to the new Smithsonian Air & Space museum.

    The SR-71 is an amazing aircraft. A quite hazardous plane to pilot but can you imagine flying so high that you can see the curvature of the earth, or cooking your dinner by holding it up to the wind screen?


      I agree with Dane: this is an amazing aircraft.

      Each and every single time I see one (only seen it for real in NY on the Interpid aircraft carrier museum), I wonder where this design really came from.

      To me, it's such an "alien design"... we do not have many other aircrafts with these particular design features, with these particular shapes.... it just puzzles me how we came up with this extraordinary look.
      With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

      Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
      Main page:

      Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.


        Fantastic! I'm so glad I asked you to tell us about your relationship to this beautiful bird.
        (By the way, did you know it's in fact deep blue in colour? It should be nicknamed Bluebird. But the rest is history, and the hole world seems to agree it is black).

        So many beautiful creations have come off the Lockheed skunkworks drawingboards.
        I think this is an amazing graceful design, as is the F-104 Starfighter.
        You know, these aircraft were at their peak in operation when I grew my facination for the aviation world, and luckily enough for an aviation geek like me, the RNoAF were operational with the two most beautiful fighters in the world (and I'm temted to say in all times), the F-104/CF-104 Starfighter and F-5 FreedomFighter. The latter was of course a Northrop design, but not behind the Lockheed in design at all.

        Your facination for the SR-71 is just like mine for the Grumman F-14 Tomcat.
        I had a dream of one time in my life to be able to see and touch such a plane, and in 1987 the dream came through.
        I met several F-14s at an airshow in Daytona, Florida, mainly from the VF-14 Tophatters Sqn. assigned then to the carrier USS John F. Kennedy (VF_14 has been assigned to different carriers).
        (Let you in on a little secret: I've always had a great facination for Grumman designs, and before the days of the computer, I had a large correspondance with a Louis Louvisolo at the Grumman Historical Dept., due to the fact that my favourite fighter of all times and ages is the Grumman F-8-F BEARCAT).

        Thank you for posting these images and videos!!!
        Last edited by Sterkoder; January 22nd, 2011, 12:58.


          Pakarang said:
          I wonder where this design really came from.
          The design comes from Ben Rich and 'Kelly' Johnson at the Lockheed Martin's Advanced Development Programs, officially called the Skunk Works.
          This department is responsible for several famous aircraft, as the U-2 spy plane, SR-71, F-117 Nighthawk, F-35 Raptor (maybe the new RNoAF fighter when someone get their fingers out...), F-104 and so on.

          Facinating story this one, and I've read a lot about it as I've been facinated by many videos and factbooks.

          The most facinating thought (for me) is that most of these designs saw the light of day "only" 50-60 short years after the Wright brothers flew for a few seconds on a "wooden stick". THAT's the facinating thing, the rapid development of things.