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Chantilly VA - Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center - Lockheed - SR-71A #61-7972 Blackbird 10 | by Daniel Mennerich
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Chantilly VA - Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center - Lockheed - SR-71A #61-7972 Blackbird 10

SR-71A #61-7972 is on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA. From 1991 until September 2003, #972 was in storage at Washington Dulles International Airport in a building specifically constructed for this aircraft. There, it was under strict surveillance by National Air and Space Museum representatives, who regularly adjusted humidity levels to ensure the best possible preservation conditions. This aircraft is no doubt the best-looking of the remaining SR-71s, along with SR-71A #976.

 

This aircraft holds many records that were set on 6 March 1990, when it was flown from Palmdale to Dulles in what was intended to be the last USAF flight of the SR-71. It also holds the New York to London record of 1 hour, 54 minutes, 56.4 seconds set in 1974. You may have noted the Skunk Works insignia on the rudders of #972. After SR-71A #955's last flight on 24 January 1985, #972 became the Palmdale test aircraft. This aircraft's assembly started 13 December 1965 and was rolled out on 15 September 1966.

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Taken on October 21, 2011