Lockheed SR-71 / YF-12 / A-12 Blackbirds PDF eBook + Manuals

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  • 9 magazines, 3 official declassified flight manuals, declassified CIA documents & photos
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May 1979

  • Lockheed YF-12/SR-71 Blackbird
  • The Fleet’s In, Boeing’s Sea-Going Carrier Fighters
  • Flight of the ?, Aerial Refueling

October 1986

  • RIding Herd on the Thundering Texan, North American’s T-6
  • Back to the Future, Kelly Johnson’s Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

September 1993

  • Special SR-71/A-12/YF-12 Blackbird Collector’s Issue
  • A Test Pilot’s Look at the Lockheed A-12/SR-71

July 1997

  • Next Week Air, Double Deckered Seaplanes Delivering The Mail
  • Return of the Blackbird, SR-71 is Back in Service at NASA
  • Reconnaissance Aircraft based on Aircraft Carriers

May 2002

  • Flown a Ford Lately? The Douglas XF4D-1 Skyray
  • Putting the Ox before the Cart, The Story of the Lockheed A-12
  • Working on the Railroad

September 2002

  • The Second Airpower Option, German Luftwaffe during WWII
  • Blacksheep of the Blackbirds, The YF-12 Story
  • Inside the Sperry Lower Ball Turret

January 2003

  • World War I Ace, Billy Bishop Went To War
  • Tagboard & Senior Bowl, the D-21 Story
  • From Boom to Bust, General Aviation Aircraft of the Post-War Era
  • Foiling German Radar in WWII

May 2003

  • Lockheed’s Electra Airliner Series
  • Mach 3 Masterpiece, The SR-71 Blackbird Story
  • Coast-To-Coast in 68 Minutes! SR-71’s Final Mission Breaks a Record
  • The Payen-Mutsubishi Pa.400 Unusual Aircraft

December 2004

  • Bats and Pelicans, Early Unmanned Anti-Ship Missiles
  • The Racer, Howard Hughes’ H1, Perhaps the Greatest Racing Airplane Ever Built
  • “Big Tail”, the one-of-a-kind SR-71 Blackbird
  • Aircraft Models of Yesteryear
  • Mission Berlin, The Story of the Berlin Airlift

Manuals & Photos

  • A-12 Abbreviated Checklist
  • A-12 Archangel CIA
  • A-12 Black Shield Mission 6847 Preliminary Assessment
  • A-12 Black Shield Missions Jan-Mar 1968
  • A-12 Critique of Mission BX6858
  • A-12 Normal Emergency Ground Handling
  • A-12 Photographic Equipment
  • A-12 Utility Flight Manual
  • SR-71 Development
  • SR-71 Flight Manual (Declassified)
  • SR-71 info for EXCOM Meeting 1967
  • SR-71 NASA Test Bed Aircraft
  • SR-71 Researchers Handbook
  • SR-71 Timeline
  • SR-71 vs. A-12 Comparison
  • YF-12 Flight Research
  • YF-12A Utility Flight Manual
  • Blackbird: Challenges & Lessons Learned
  • The CIA and Overhead Reconnaissance: U-2 & Project OXCART 1954-1974 (Declassified)

Lockheed Blackbirds

Lockheed SR-71A Specifications

General Characteristics

SR71A-Diagram

  • Crew: 2 (Pilot and Reconnaissance Systems Officer)
  • Payload: 3,500 lb (1,600 kg) of sensors
  • Length: 107 ft 5 in (32.74 m)
  • Wingspan: 55 ft 7 in (16.94 m)
  • Height: 18 ft 6 in (5.64 m)
  • Wing area: 1,800 ft2 (170 m2)
  • Empty weight: 67,500 lb (30,600 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 152,000 lb (69,000 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 172,000 lb (78,000 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney J58-1 continuous-bleed afterburning turbojets, 34,000 lbf (151 kN) each
  • Wheel track: 16 ft 8 in (5.08 m)
  • Wheelbase: 37 ft 10 in (11.53 m)
  • Aspect ratio: 1.7

Performance

  • Maximum speed: Mach 3.3 (2,200+ mph, 3,540+ km/h, 1,910+ knots) at 80,000 ft (24,000 m)
  • Range: 2,900 nmi (5,400 km)
  • Ferry range: 3,200 nmi (5,925 km)
  • Service ceiling: 85,000 ft (25,900 m)
  • Rate of climb: 11820 ft/m (60 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 84 lb/ft² (410 kg/m²)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.44

SR-71 Variants

  • SR-71A was the main production variant.
  • SR-71B was a trainer variant.
  • SR-71C was a hybrid aircraft composed of the rear fuselage of the first YF-12A (S/N 60-6934) and the forward fuselage from an SR-71 static test unit. The YF-12 had been wrecked in a 1966 landing accident. This Blackbird was seemingly not quite straight and had a yaw at supersonic speeds. It was nicknamed “The Bastard”.

SR-71 on Display

Alabama

  • A-12 #06930 – On display at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville, AL.
  • A-12 #06937 – On display at the Southern Museum of Flight, Birmingham, AL.
  • A-12 #06938 – On display at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile, AL.

Arizona

  • SR-71A #17951 – On display at the Pima Air Museum, Tucson, AZ.

California

  • A-12 #06924 – On display at the Blackbird Airpark in Palmdale, CA.
  • A-12 #06927 – On display at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, CA.
  • A-12 #06933 – On display at the San Diego Aerospace Museum, in San Diego, CA.
  • SR-71A #17955 – On display at the AFFTC Museum, Edwards AFB, CA.
  • SR-71A #17960 – On display at the Castle Air Museum near Atwater, CA.
  • SR-71A #17963 – On display at Beale AFB, CA.
  • SR-71A #17973 – On display at the Blackbird Airpark, Palmdale, CA.
  • SR-71A #17975 – On display at the March Field Museum, March AFB, CA.
  • SR-71A #17980 – On display at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center as #844.

Florida

  • SR-71A #17959 – On display at the USAF Armament Museum, Eglin AFB, FL.

Georgia

  • SR-71A #17958 – On display at the Museum of Aviation, Robins AFB, GA.

Kansas

  • SR-71A #17961 – On display at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, Hutchinson, KS.

Louisiana

  • SR-71A #17967 – On display at the 8th Air Force Museum, Barksdale AFB, LA.

Michigan

  • SR-71B #17956 – On display at the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum in Kalamazoo, MI.

Minnesota

  • A-12 #06931 – On display at the Minnesota Air National Guard Museum, MN.

Nebraska

  • SR-71A #17964 – On display at the Strategic Air and Space Museum, near Ashland, NE.

New York

  • A-12 #06925 – On display at USS Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in the New York City Harbor.

Ohio

  • YF-12A #06935 – On display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH.
  • SR-71A #17976 – On display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH.

Oregon

  • SR-71A #17971 – On display at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, OR.

Texas

  • SR-71A #17979 – On display at the USAF History and Traditions Museum, Lackland AFB, TX.

Utah

  • SR-71C #17981 – On display at the Hill Aerospace Museum, Hill AFB, UT.

Virginia

  • SR-71A #17968 – On display at the Virginia Aviation Museum in Richmond, VA.
  • SR-71A #17972 – On display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Washington

  • M-21 #06940 – On display at the Museum of Flight, Seattle, WA.

United Kingdom

  • SR-71A #17962 – On display at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, England.

Lockheed YF-12A Specifications

General Characteristics

yf12-diagram

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 101 ft 8 in (30.97 m)
  • Wingspan: 55 ft 7 in (16.95 m)
  • Height: 18 ft 6 in (5.64 m)
  • Wing area: 1,795 ft² (167 m²)
  • Aspect ratio: 1.7
  • Empty weight: 60,730 lb (27,604 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 124,000 lb (56,200 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 140,000 lb (63,504 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney J58/JTD11D-20A afterburning turbojet with compressor bleed bypass
    • Dry thrust: 20,500 lbf (91.2 kN) each
    • Thrust with afterburner: 31,500 lbf (140 kN) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: Mach 3.35 (2,275 mph, 3,661 km/h) at 80,000 ft (24,400 m)
  • Range: 3,000 mi (4,800 km)
  • Service ceiling: 90,000 ft (27,400 m)
  • Rate of climb: 11820 ft/m (60 m/s) ()
  • Thrust/weight: 0.44

Armament

  • Missiles: 3× Hughes AIM-47A air-to-air missiles located internally in fuselage bays

Avionics

  • Hughes AN/ASG-18 look-down/shoot-down fire control radar

YF-12A on Display

YF-12A
  • YF-12A, AF Ser. No. 60-6935 (Article 1002) – at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio. This aircraft has small patches in its skin, on the starboard side below the cockpit. The patches cover holes caused by the “spurs” of a crewman who had to evacuate the plane after an emergency landing.
  • SR-71C, AF Ser. No. 61-7981 (portion of the former YF-12A AF Ser. No. 60-6934) is on display at the Hill Aerospace Museum, Hill AFB, Utah.

Lockheed A-12 Specifications

General Characteristics

  • Crew: 1 (2 for trainer variant)
  • Length: 101.6 ft (30.97 m)
  • Wingspan: 55.62 ft (16.95 m)
  • Height: 18.45 ft (5.62 m)
  • Wing area: 1,795 ft² (170 m²)
  • Empty weight: 54,600 lb (24,800 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 124,600 lb (56,500 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney J58-1 afterburning turbojets, 32,500 lbf (144 kN) each
  • Payload: 2,500 lb (1,100 kg) of reconnaissance sensors

Performance

  • Maximum speed: Mach 3.35 (2,210 mph, 3,560 km/h) at 75,000 ft (23,000 m)
  • Range: 2,200 nmi (2,500 mi, 4,000 km)
  • Service ceiling: 95,000 ft (29,000 m)
  • Rate of climb: 11,800 ft/min (60 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 65 lb/ft² (320 kg/m²)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.56

Lockheed A-12 on Display

  • A-12 60-6924 at the Air Force Flight Test Center Museum Annex, Blackbird Airpark, at Plant 42, Palmdale, California.
  • A-12 60-6925 at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, parked on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, New York City.
  • A-12 60-6927 the two-seat trainer at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, California.
  • A-12 60-6930 at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville, Alabama.
  • A-12 60-6931 at the CIA Headquarters, Langley, Virginia.
  • A-12 60-6933 at the San Diego Air & Space Museum, Balboa Park, San Diego, California.
  • A-12 60-6937 at the Southern Museum of Flight, Birmingham, Alabama.
  • A-12 60-6938 at the Battleship Memorial Park (USS Alabama), Mobile, Alabama.

Lockheed M-21 on Display

  • M-21 60-6940 at the Museum of Flight, Seattle, Washington. Only surviving M-21 designed to launch a ramjet-powered D-21 drone which was mounted on a pylon above the empennage. Displayed inside museum building.

Lockheed A-12 Variants

Training variant

The A-12 training variant (60-6927 “Titanium Goose”) was a two-seat model with two cockpits in tandem with the rear cockpit raised and slightly offset. In case of emergency, the trainer was designed to allow the flight instructor to take control.

YF-12A

The YF-12 program was a limited production variant of the A-12. Lockheed convinced the U.S. Air Force that an aircraft based on the A-12 would provide a less costly alternative to the recently canceled North American Aviation XF-108, since much of the design and development work on the YF-12 had already been done and paid for. Thus, in 1960 the Air Force agreed to take the seventh through ninth slots on the A-12 production line and have them completed in the YF-12A interceptor configuration.

M-21

The M-21 variant carried and launched the Lockheed D-21, an unmanned, faster and higher-flying reconnaissance drone. The M-21 had a pylon on its back for mounting the drone and a second cockpit for a Launch Control Operator/Officer (LCO) in the place of the A-12’s Q bay. The D-21 was autonomous; after launch, it would fly over the target, travel to a predetermined rendezvous point, eject its data package, and self-destruct. A C-130 Hercules would catch the package in midair.

The M-21 program was canceled in 1966 after a drone collided with the mother ship at launch. The crew ejected safely, but the LCO drowned when he landed in the ocean and his flight suit filled with water. The D-21 lived on in the form of a B-model launched from a pylon under the wing of the B-52 bomber. The D-21B performed operational missions over China from 1969 to 1971.

Lockheed D-21 Specifications

d21-diagram2

D-21A and D-21B without booster
  • Wingspan: 19 ft 1/4 in (5.79 m)
  • Length: 42 ft 10 in (12.8 m)
  • Height: 7 ft 1/4 in (2.14 m)
  • Launch weight: 11,000 lb (5,000 kg)
  • Maximum speed: Mach 3.35 (2,210 mph, 1,920 knots, 3,560 km/h)
  • Service ceiling: 95,000 ft (29,000 m)
  • Range: 3,000 nmi, 3,450 mi, 5,550 km
  • Engine: 1 x Marquardt RJ43-MA-20S4 ramjet, 1,500 lbf (6.67 kN)

Lockheed D-21 on Display

  • Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) located on Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson, Arizona (D-21 #530 and two more)
  • Blackbird Airpark, Palmdale, California (D-21B #525)
  • Chinese Aviation Museum, Beijing, China (D-21 #527)
  • Evergreen Aviation Museum, McMinnville, Oregon (GTD-21B)
  • Grissom Air Museum, Grissom Air Reserve Base, Peru, Indiana (GTD-21B)
  • March Field Air Museum, March Air Reserve Base, Riverside, California(D-21B #537)
  • Museum of Aviation, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia (GTD-21B #538)
  • Museum of Flight, Seattle, Washington (D-21 No. 510 mounted on remaining M-21 #60-6940)
  • National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio (D-21B)
  • Pacific Coast Air Museum, Sonoma County, California
  • Pima Air & Space Museum (adjacent to Davis-Monthan AFB), Tucson, Arizona (D-21B #533)

D-21 Serial Numbers

  • D-21 #501 Modified to D21B standard. 28 Sept 1967 B-52H accidental drop, no mission flown.
  • D-21 #502 Static test article – destroyed in ground testing
  • D-21 #503 Launched from M12 on 5 March 1966….flew 150 nm. Crew on M12 was Bill Park and Keith Beswick.
  • D-21 #504 Launched from M12 on 30 July 1966. Drone collided with M-12, both destroyed. Lockheed Crew was Bill Park and Ray Torick. Ray was killed but Bill Park survived. This catastrophe ended the M12 Program.
  • D-21 #505 Launched from M12 on 16 June 1966….flew 1,550 nm. Crew was Park/Beswick.
  • D-21 #506 Launched from M12 on 27 April 1966….flew 1,120 nm. Crew was Park/Torick.
  • D-21B #507 Launched from B-52H on 6 Nov 1967…..flew 134 nm.
  • D-21B #508 Launched from B-52H on 19 Jan 1968….flew 280 nm.
  • D-21B #509 Launched from B-52H on 2 Dec 1967….flew 1,430 nm
  • D-21B #510 Modified to D21B standard. On display at Seattle Museum of Flight Mated to an A-12 Airframe.
  • D-21B #511 Launched from B-52H on 30 April 1968….150 nm.
  • D-21B #512 Launched from B-52H on 16 June 1968….flew 2,850 nm, no camera carried.
  • D-21B #513 Listed by D-M as allocated to NASA but remained at D-M in storage
  • D-21B #514 Launched from B-52H on 1 July 1968….flew 80 nm.
  • D-21B #515 Launched from B-52H on 15 Dec 1968….flew 2,953 nm, Camera recovered, photos-fair.
  • D-21B #516 Launched from B-52H on 28 Aug 1968….flew 78 nm.
  • D-21B #517 Launched from B-52H on 9 Nov 1969…1st operational mission, camera not recovered.
  • D-21B #518 Launched from B-52H on 11 Feb 1969….flew 161 nm.
  • D-21B #519 Launched from B-52H on 10 May 1969….flew 2,972 nm, camera recovered.
  • D-21B #520 Launched from B-52H on 10 July 1969….flew 2,937 nm, camera recovered; good photos.
  • D-21B #521 Launched from B-52H on 20 Feb 1970….flew 2,969 nm, camera recovered; good photos.
  • D-21B #522 On display at the Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa, CA
  • D-21B #523 Launched from B-52H on 16 Dec 1970….flew 2,448 nm, 2nd operational mission, camera not recovered
  • D-21B #524 On display at USAF Museum, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH
  • D-21B #525 On display at Blackbird Airpark, Palmdale, CA
  • D-21B #526 Launched from B-52H on 4 March 1971….flew 2,935 nm, 3rd operational mission, camera not recovered
  • D-21B #527 Launched from B-52H on 20 March 1971….flew 2,935 nm, 4th and last operational mission, camera not recovered. D-21 Program closed down. Wreckage recovered and put on display at China Aviation Museum.
  • D-21B #528 On display at Grissom Air Museum, Grissom ARB, IN
  • D-21B #529 Was at NASA; returned to AMARC, April 2007
  • D-21B #530 On display at Davis Monthan AFB, AZ in AMARC as of October 10, 2000
  • D-21B #531 Stored at Davis Monthan AFB, AZ in AMARC as of October 10, 2000
  • D-21B #532 Stored at Davis Monthan AFB, AZ in AMARC as of October 10, 2000
  • D-21B #533 On display at Pima Air and Space Museum, Tucson, AZ
  • D-21B #534 On display at Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, OR
  • D-21B #535 Deaccessioned – returned to DRMO
  • D-21B #536 Stored at Davis Monthan AFB, AZ in AMARC as of October 10, 2000
  • D-21B #537 On display at March ARB Museum, April 2007
  • D-21B #538 On display at Museum of Aviation, Robins AFB, GA next to an SR-71
  • D-21B #539 On display at Beale AFB, CA at Heritage Park next to an SR-71

Blackbird Airframes

Airframe Model Current Location
60-6924 A-12 Blackbird Airpark, Palmdale, CA (AFFTC Museum)
60-6925 A-12 Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, NY
60-6926 A-12 Crashed 24 May 1963, CIA pilot ejected safely
60-6927 A-12 Museum of Science/Industry, LA (Stored at Skunk Works)
60-6928 A-12 Crashed 05 January 1967, CIA pilot killed
60-6929 A-12 Crashed 28 December 1967, pilot ejected safely
60-6930 A-12 Alabama Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville
60-6931 A-12 Minnesota ANG Museum, St Paul, MN
60-6932 A-12 Crashed 5 June 1968, CIA pilot killed
60-6933 A-12 San Diego Aerospace Museum
60-6934 YF-12A Destroyed on landing 14 August 1966
60-6935 YF-12A USAF Museum, Dayton, OH
60-6936 YF-12A Crashed 24 June 1971, crew ejected safely
60-6937 A-12 Storage, Plant 42 (Skunk Works)
60-6938 A-12 USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile, AL
60-6939 A-12 Destroyed on landing 9 July 1964, crew ejected safely
60-6940 A-12 Museum of Flight, Seattle
60-6941 M-12 Crashed 30 July 1966 , pilot survived, LCO killed
64-17950 SR-71A Destroyed on takeoff 11 April 1969, crew ejected safely
64-17951 SR-71A Pima Air Museum, Tucson, AZ (NASA YF-12C 937)
64-17952 SR-71A Crashed 25 January 1966, pilot survived, RSO killed
64-17953 SR-71A Crashed 18 December 1969, crew ejected safely
64-17954 SR-71A Destroyed on takeoff 11 April 1969, crew ejected safely
64-17955 SR-71A AFFTC Museum, Edwards AFB, CA
64-17956 SR-71B Operational, NASA Dryden FRC, Edwards AFB, CA
64-17957 SR-71B Crashed 11 January 1968, crew ejected safely
64-17958 SR-71A Robbins AFB Museum, GA
64-17959 SR-71A Air Force Armament Museum, Eglin AFB, FL
64-17960 SR-71A Castle Air Museum, Merced, CA
64-17961 SR-71A Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center, Hutchinson, KS
64-17962 SR-71A Reserve Fleet, Plant 42, Palmdale, CA
64-17963 SR-71A Beale AFB Museum, CA
64-17964 SR-71A SAC Museum, Offut AFB, NE
64-17965 SR-71A Crashed 25 October 1967, crew ejected safely
64-17966 SR-71A Crashed 13 April 1967, crew ejected safely
64-17967 SR-71A Operational (USAF), Det 2, 9th SW, Edwards AFB, CA
64-17968 SR-71A Reserve Fleet, Plant 42, Palmdale, CA
64-17969 SR-71A Crashed 10 May 1970, crew ejected safely
64-17970 SR-71A Crashed 17 June 1970, crew ejected safely
64-17971 SR-71A Operational (USAF), Det 2, 9th SW, Edwards AFB, CA
64-17972 SR-71A National Air and Space Museum, Washington D.C.
64-17973 SR-71A Blackbird Airpark, Palmdale, CA (Det 1 ASC)
64-17974 SR-71A Crashed 21 April 1989, crew ejected safely
64-17975 SR-71A March Field Museum, March AFB, CA
64-17976 SR-71A USAF Museum, Dayton, OH
64-17977 SR-71A Destroyed in takeoff accident 10 October 1968
64-17978 SR-71A Destroyed in landing accident 20 July 1972
64-17979 SR-71A History & Traditions Museum, Lackland AFB, TX
64-17980 SR-71A Operational, NASA Dryden FRC, Edwards AFB, CA
64-17981 SR-71C Hill AFB Museum, Hill AFB, UT