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The Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird” was an advanced, long-range, Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft flown by the U.S. Air Force from 1964 to 1998. There were only 93 men who got to fly it (so they were, by definition, oddball pilots). While we can’t advise you on how to get a job flying one, we can direct you to some resources that will give you a sense of what you missed.

Update: If you’re young and play your cards right you could get the opportunity to fly the SR-71’s likely successor, the SR-72, at speeds twice as fast! An astute reader just posted a link on our Facebook page to an interesting article from Aviation Week.

I recently came across these three great videos about the SR-71 shot by Eric Johnston of the Veteran Tales Project. If you like them, consider making a donation on his site.

More SR-71 Videos

There’s no shortage of interesting talks and documentaries on the SR-71. Check ’em out.

Learn More

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird on Wikipedia

SR-71 Online

SR-71 Flight Manual

Flight Simulation

Whether you love or hate using flight simulators in your own pilot training, there’s no other way to get the experience of flying an SR-71! If you’re interested, the best SR-71 add-on aircraft available for Microsoft Flight Simulator X is the Glowing Heat Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird.

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One Response to “Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird” Cockpit Checkout, Engine Tour, and Pilot Interview”

  1. Chris Gartner says:

    For those of you who have not yet read Brian’s book SLED DRIVER, it’s possibly the best narrative written on the makings of an SR-71 pilot. This is an EXTREMELY difficult A/C to fly especially on the tanker. I bought my copy 20+ years ago but unfortunately never got it back when I loaned it out. I would recommend both his SR-71 books to anyone truly interested in learning more about this very unique A/C and the folks who built it an kept it in operational service for decades until the mission was replaced by satellites and UAVs. Chris Gartner Winnipeg Canada 2Nov/13.

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