Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Umm... No, Officer... How Fast WAS I Going?

The SR-71A Blackbird that is part of the Air Force Flight Test Center Museum at Edwards AFB, Calif., is towed over public roads to the base’s corrosion control facility for refurbishment, Aug, 8, 2009. This aircraft, serial number 17955, will have its sun-damaged paint redone in time for Edwards’ air show and open house in October 2009. Air Force photo by TSgt. Trisha Winters

From the Edwards AFB web site:
8/13/2009 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Motorists traveling along Lancaster and Rosamond Boulevard early Saturday morning were greeted with "the world's fastest traffic jam" as the Air Force Flight Test Center Museum's SR-71A (ed: link added) Blackbird made its way to the Center's Corrosion Control Facility.

Members of the 412th Maintenance Inspection Branch came out early to tow the museum aircraft.

Team Edwards members from security forces and civil engineering were on hand to make sure the SR-71's transit was unhindered by roadway obstructions and drivers who found themselves sharing the road with the world's fastest aircraft.

The SR-71, serial number 17955, left the museum's airpark to have its sun-damaged paint redone by the expert craftsmen working at the base paint shop and will be on display at the Edwards Flight Test Nation Air Show and Open House Oct. 17.
I'd have liked to have seen that!

Apropos of not much... I lived on Edwards for a short while in the way-back before moving into base housing on
Boron Air Force Station sometime in 1970 or so. Not my best USAF assignment, by any means. It was HOT, Gentle Reader... but the dirt bike riding was spectacular, to say the very least.


  1. That would have been quite a site to see. I get irritated when I have to pull over on the highway to let a trailer house go by, but a SR-71 would have been worth the wait.

  2. They did something similar when the SAC Museum (now the "Strategic Air and Space Museum"...but it's still SAC at heart) moved its aircraft the 30+ miles from just off the Offutt tarmac to a new location off I-80 between Omaha and Lincoln. Everything that had wings which could come off did; they transported the smaller stuff (fighters and some of the smaller bombers) that could fit on the back of a flatbed trailer that way, but the bigger stuff, like the big bombers and the SR-71 had to be towed the whole way out there. It was quite the operation.

    By the way, if you're ever in the Omaha area, you should stop by the museum, especially if you were a USAF Cold Warrior. Their missile display isn't quite as good as it once was (dunno where they all went) but they still have pretty much every major bomber in the U.S. inventory from the B-17 to the B-1, not to mention a British Vulcan, a KC-97, an SR-71, a U-2, as well as a smattering of fighters and other support aircraft. Well worth your time.

  3. Saw the SR-71 flying many times in Okinawa. An awesome sight indeed.

  4. Mr Webb: I'd read that vignette before someplace, but it still makes me smile. A lot! Thanks!

    Lou: Agreed!

    Mike: re: The Sac Museum... Got the tee shirt! Or had, til I wore it out. :D

    I was thinking there had to be pictures of moving the aircraft from Offutt to Ashland, so I googled it... and no joy. I went ten pages deep into the image search (Strategic Air and Space Museum +"moving aircraft") and saw nothing specific. But I did find a pretty cool article on the Last B-36...

    tim: I had the great good fortune to see 'em leaving Mildenhall occasionally when I was up that way... perhaps three times. Those guys GET OUT o' Dodge when they take off!

  5. Very cool photo and an awesome aircraft.

  6. We were up that way on Sunday (for riding, of course)
    Definitely would have liked to see that!

  7. Mushy: Yup!

    Susan: Me, too! How was the riding? Are ya gonna post pics? :D

  8. I think the B-36 is at least one of my favorite aircraft at the museum, just because of the rarity. That and the B-45.

    I'm kind of surprised there aren't any pictures of the move, because when it happened it was quite the media event.

  9. Now that's a traffic jam I would actually have enjoyed being stuck in!

    Thanks for the pic, Buck.

  10. sorry, no pics, but we definitely plan to be there in October so maybe pics then.
    maybe we can tie it into another trip to Dove Springs... hmmmm.

  11. Mike sez: I'm kind of surprised there aren't any pictures of the move, because when it happened it was quite the media event.

    My thoughts EXACTLY. You just know there are thousands of pics of those events... somewhere.

    BR: Definitely!

    Susan: I hope I planted a seed. :D

  12. you're not going to believe this, but i was given as a gift and actual set of in flight fueling on one of these - a thing of beauty - the blackbird is one of my favorites of ALL time.

  13. nanc: Were you in the back of a KC-135, or something? That IS way-cool!


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