I can tell you about the SR-71 Blackbird's titanium frame, its Pratt&Whitney J58-P4 engines, or its genesis. But that's not important. What really matters is the thrill of flying it in an extremely dangerous mission, as remembered by this pilot.—JD
Last Friday you saw the SR-71 Blackbird cockpit in glorious ultra-HD. Veteran Blackbird pilot Richard Graham explains how the cockpit actually works in this fascinating video filmed inside the cockpit. Lots of technical words, but seeing him moving around inside that tight cockpit is really cool.
This story has been kicking around the internet for awhile, but man oh man oh man is it worth a read. Test pilot Bill Weaver was flying an SR-71 Blackbird on an experimental evaluation flight when a malfunction at Mach 3.18 caused the plane to literally tear apart. Yet somehow, Weaver survived.
We've read what it feels like to fly the SR-71 Blackbird. Now learn how to do it yourself. Here's the Air Force's official, and recently declassified, operations manual for the gorgeous, evil-looking spy plane. Who wants to go 2112 mph?
Although it may look like the Rebel Alliance factory floor, those are SR-71 Blackbirds being built. We lovingly lifted the shot from Gizmodo's cool feature yesterday — written by an actual Blackbird pilot. Check it out if you haven't already.