Century Wings 1/72nd scale CW001630 Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird USAF 9th SRW, 61-7967 1977 “Lightning Bolt”. Buy now online at Flying Tigers.
The Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird” was a long-range, Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft that was operated by the United States Air Force. It was developed as a black project from the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft in the 1960s by Lockheed and its Skunk Works division. American aerospace engineer Clarence “Kelly” Johnson was responsible for many of the design’s innovative concepts. During aerial reconnaissance missions, the SR-71 operated at high speeds and altitudes to allow it to outrace threats. If a surface-to-air missile launch was detected, the standard evasive action was simply to accelerate and outfly the missile. The SR-71 was designed with a reduced radar cross-section.
The SR-71 served with the U.S. Air Force from 1964 to 1998. A total of 32 aircraft were built; 12 were lost in accidents and none lost to enemy action. The SR-71 has been given several nicknames, including Blackbird and Habu. It has held the world record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft since 1976; this record was previously held by the related Lockheed YF-12.
SRW-61 7979 is preserved and on display at the USAF History and Traditions Museum at Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas. She was flown there on Tuesday, March 6th, 1990 (the same day as 972’s record-breaking run) by Steve Grzebiniak and Stanley Gudmundson. 979 retired with 3321.7 hours of flight time – the fourth highest of all blackbirds.