Carl Reese TDA Contributor
On 6th March 1990 Lt. Col. Raymond E. “Ed” Yielding and Lt. Col. Joseph T. “JT” Vida crossed “coast to coast”, a distance of 2402.05 miles, in 1 hour, 7 minutes and 53.69 seconds. Averaging a speed of 2,124.51!
Leaking fuel cells have haunted more than one cannonball team through the years and the SR-71 “Black Bird” is no exception. It would leak copious amounts of fuel on the runway, before take off. Due to the engineered gaps in its fuselage panels. These gaps would eventually expand and seal themselves; from heat during flight.
The leaking JPL-7 fuel would be so bad, SR-71 must be refueled immediately after take off with a KC-135 AKA Stratotanker.
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. Prototypes were first flown at Groom Lake also know as Area 51.
The Blackbird was one of many Kelly Johnson secret projects that allowed for our military to have an edge over our enemy. The SR-71 Blackbird is now unclassified and is no longer in service.