This story gives a glimpse into the life of former SR-71 pilot and the world speed record holder, Al Joersz.
Joersz and Skunk Works® program director Steve Justice reminisce how a boy growing up in North Dakota went on to become the “fastest man alive.”
Photographs of Joersz’ life were provided by Valerie Albrecht of the Hazen Public Library.
Bonus SR-71 Videos
The Lockheed SR-71 was an advanced, long-range, Mach 3 strategic reconnaissance aircraft developed from the Lockheed A-12 and YF-12A aircraft by the Lockheed Skunk Works. The SR-71 was unofficially named the Blackbird, and called the Habu by its crews. Clarence “Kelly” Johnson was responsible for many of the design’s innovative concepts. A defensive feature of the aircraft was its high speed and operating altitude, whereby, if a surface-to-air missile launch were detected, standard evasive action was simply to accelerate. The SR-71 line was in service from 1964 to 1998, with 12 of the 32 aircraft being destroyed in accidents, though none were lost to enemy action.
SR-71 Cockpit Review
Richard Graham was nice enough to give us a cockpit checkout in both the pilot and RSO stations. We shot this on location at the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Love Field Dallas Texas.