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Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird

by Gaetan Marie

 



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Description

 

"Rapid Rabbit". Pilot, Capt. Dennis K. Bush / RSO, Capt. James W. Fagg
Kadena AB, Okinawa. 1972


by GAETAN MARIE

"978" was nicknamed "Rapid Rabbit" and carried the Playboy magazine rabbit on both rudders throughout its career. It was lost in an accident on July 20, 1972, when its braking chute failed to deploy correctly upon landing. Its pilot, Denny Bush, had to go dispose of the chute and go around. Under normal conditions, the SR-71 could slow down using only its brakes and no chute. On that day, strong crosswinds meant Bush had to perfom a high speed landing. The aircraft overshot the runway and the main gear gave in, damaging the entire aircraft beyond repair. Denny Bush and his RSO, Jimmy Fagg, were unharmed but 978 was a total loss and was buried under a berm at the end of the runway, which has been called "Habu Hill" ever since. Before its burial, parts of 978 were salvaged as spares for other Blackbirds and the rudder and its rabbit logo were later used on 975.

Maximum speed: Mach 3.2 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: 11,810 ft/min (60 m/s)
Wing loading: 94 lb/ft2 (460 kg/m2)
Thrust/weight: 0.382

This artwork (GM-39) is made with Photoshop. It can be purchased through http://www.aviationgraphic.com


Image and Text Copyright 2009 by Ugo Crisponi
Page Created 26 March, 2009
Last Updated 27 March, 2009

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