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03-28-2009, 04:44 AM #31
"The SR-71 was an expensive aircraft to operate. The most significant cost was tanker support, and in 1990, confronted with budget cutbacks, the Air Force retired the SR-71. The Blackbird had outrun nearly 4,000 missiles, not once taking a scratch from enemy fire. On her final flight, the Blackbird, destined for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum , sped from Los Angeles to Washington in 64 minutes, averaging 2,145 mph and setting four speed records.
The SR-71 served six presidents, protecting America for a quarter of a century. Unbeknownst to most of the country, the plane flew over North Vietnam , Red China, North Korea , the Middle East, South Africa , Cuba , Nicaragua , Iran , Libya , and the Falkland Islands. On a weekly basis, the SR-71 kept watch over every Soviet nuclear submarine and mobile missile site, and all of their troop movements. It was a key factor in winning the Cold War.
I am proud to say I flew about 500 hours in this aircraft. I knew her well. She gave way to no plane, proudly dragging her sonic boom through enemy backyards with great impunity. She defeated every missile, outran every MiG, and always brought us home. In the first 100 years of manned flight, no aircraft was more remarkable."08' M3 coupe M-DCT
03-30-2009, 03:41 PM #32
Brian Shul - the author of "Sled Driver" is an awesome individual. I don't know where to begin.
If you'd like to meet him, he ALWAYS attends the Reno Air Races. He is a Viet Nam Veteran who flew (and was shot down in) the F4 Phantom (which he refers to as a "brick with wings"). After much in the way of rehab and surgery (he was severely burned in his F4 crash) he went on to the SR-71.
The great thing about Major Shul is that when I first met him, my son was 9 and as most of those on this post, in awe of the Blackbird. My son corresponded with Brian by email to write up a report on that aircraft for school. What a great guy!!!
The fun story has to do with a question I asked (based on the fact that he authored one book each on the Blue Angels "Portrait of Gold" and Thunderbirds "Summer Thunder"): which team is better? I asked this about 10 years ago.
He starts off by reminding me that he is a retired Air Force Major. After about 3 months, the Air Force finally cleared him to do Summer Thunder.
Next the Thunderbirds' ground crew consists of several hundred personnel. They wear "g" suits and keep their oxygen masks on during each demonstration.
Now to the Angels - their ground personnel (at the time) numbered 100 - 200. No "g" suits or oxygen.
He gave the nod to the Navy!
Again, for those of you who go to Reno, you should meet the man!!Going to trial with a lawyer who considers your whole life-style a Crime in Progress is not a happy prospect. -
03-30-2009, 04:10 PM #33
Weird - right after I posted this, I brought up a document which had an address "Kelly Johnson Road". Stuff like that freaks me out!!Going to trial with a lawyer who considers your whole life-style a Crime in Progress is not a happy prospect. -
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03-31-2009, 01:31 AM #34Going to trial with a lawyer who considers your whole life-style a Crime in Progress is not a happy prospect. -
03-31-2009, 02:28 AM #35
03-31-2009, 03:56 AM #36
I've met Brian... he's a fantastic human being.
He was once told he would never walk, let alone fly again - after crashing his F4.
When he later few the SR, one of the first things he did was buzz the hell out of that VA hospital!-Ben Cannon.
03-31-2009, 11:48 AM #37
- Join Date
- May 2008
03-31-2009, 04:48 PM #38
04-02-2009, 01:27 AM #39
I grew up in an AFB town, stories like these always make my day. Great post(s)
04-02-2009, 02:34 AM #40Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
A bunch of gas powered italian, german, japanese, and american things with four wheels. On order is a bunch of the same, and previously I had a bunch of the same. Oh and I fly, tool around on boats, and have been known to ride motorcycles.