BLACKBIRD

Production

 The A-12 Oxcart has often been referred to as a version of the SR-71 Blackbird or a Prototype when actually it is the other way round with the A-12 being the parent of all the Blackbird series of airframes and was a design in its own right.

From the A-12 spawned a  series of aircraft designs of which the A-12 and the SR-71 entered operation service with the C.I.A. and the USAF. Unfortunately the YF-12A or the intended F-12B Interceptor never entered service nor did the M-21/D-21 Drone combination following a mid air collision of the 2 airframes during the release phase and the program was cancelled . The D-21 was modified (D-21B ) and attached to a DZ-1 rocket booster which could /was launched from a modified B-52H.

 Shown on this page is the BLACKBIRD FAMILY TREE , airframe Flight Hours / number of flights, SR-71 Production dates, SR-71 deployments to Kadena and Mildenhall.
BLACKBIRD FAMILY TREE

A-12 / YF-12A / M-21 / SR-71

      A-1      
      A-2      
      A-3      
      A-4      
      A-5      
      A-6      
      A-7      
      A-8      
      A-9      
      A-10      
      A-11      
      A-12      
    <------------ | ------------->    
  RB-12   |   AF-12  
| M-21 |
| + |
  RS-12   D-21 DRONE F-12B,   <----------> YF-12A
  |   | FB-12    
  |   D-21B DRONE

Carried by B-52

     
  R-12          
  |          
  |          
B-71 <--------------> SR-71A        
    SR-71B        
    SR-71C        
 
Oxcart Classified designation given to the A-12 project by the CIA
Senior Crown Classified designation given to the SR-71 project
A-1  to A-11 Archangel Lockheed's internal designation for its proposals to meet the CIA's high-speed reconnaissance aircraft requirement

 

A-12 Original design concept for a high speed reconnaissance aircraft, but built as a single-seat  platform, based on the A-11 design but with improvements to lower the radar cross section; 13 built (5 lost)
M-21 Originally intended as A-12 airframes but modified during construction with a second seat for an officer to operate the D-21 drone, the new designation refers to the aircraft's role as a mother ship (M-21) to launch the daughter (D-21) and increase reconnaissance range; 2 built (1 lost)
AF-12 Proposed  version of the A-12 called AF-12 by the company and the USAF ordered three AF-12s in mid-1960.

The AF-12s would take the seventh through ninth slots on the A-12 production line and have them completed in the YF-12A interceptor configuration.

YF-12A Initially designed as an interceptor prototype equipped with a Hughes AN/ASG-18 pulse-Doppler radar in the nose and tandem weapons bays for AIM-47 air-to-air missiles, later used by NASA as Mach 3 research aircraft; 3 built (2 lost) .

 

F-12B Proposed production model of the YF-12A to serve as a USAF high-speed interceptor; cancelled .
YF-12C Actually SR-71A 61-7951  on loan to NASA

 

RB-12 A proposed reconnaissance bomber
RS-12 Proposed strike model
B-71 Proposed dedicated bomber variants
R-12 Pure Reconnaissance Version with Cameras and ELINT packages
RS-71A Original designation for the dedicated reconnaissance model
SR-71A Definitive reconnaissance model with aerodynamic refinements, improved airframe, greater range, and fitted with advanced surveillance equipment; 29 built (11 lost) .

 

SR-71B Two-seat trainer with a separate raised cockpit for an instructor pilot; 2 built (1 lost)

Mach 3+ capable- performance slightly downgraded due to the raised second cockpit. aircraft also used to give Mach 3+ V.I.P flights.

SR-71C Two-seat trainer rebuilt from a SR-71( Front end) structural test model and incorporating rear end parts from a crashed YF-12A crashed airframe, built to replace one of the SR-71B trainers that was lost.

 
     
     
  A-12 SR-71A
Maximum Speed Mach 3.35 at 85,000' (Estimated) Mach 3.2 at 85,000' (Estimated)
Maximum Operational Ceiling 95,000' 85,000'
Maximum Unrefueled Range 2,500 miles 3,250 miles
Wing Span 55.6 ft. 55.6 ft.
Wing Area 1,795 sq. ft. 1,795 sq. ft.
Length 98.75 ft. 103.8 ft.
Empty Weight 60,000 lbs. 67,500lbs.
Gross Takeoff Weight 120,000 lbs. 152,000 lbs.
Sensor Payload 2,500 lbs. 3,500 lbs.

 

AIRCRAFT FLIGHT HOURS / PRODUCTION DATA
 
A-12
Aircraft Article Flights Hours
60-6924 332 418.2
60-6925 122 177.9
60-6926 79 135.3
60-6927 614 1076.4
60-6928 202 334.9
60-6929 105 169.2
60-6930 258 499.2
60-6931 232 453.0
60-6932 268 410.49
60-6933 217 406.3
60-6937 177 345.8
60-6938 197 369.9
60-6939 10 8.3
     
M-21
Aircraft Article Flights Hours
60-6940 80 123.9
60-6941 95 152.7
     
YF-12A
Aircraft Article Flights Hours
60-6934   80.9
60-6935 146 534.7
60-6936 62 439.8
61-7951(YF-12C /SR-71A) 90  
     

SR-71

Aircraft Article Flights Hours
61-7950 ?
61-7951 796.7
61-7952  79.47
61-7953 290.2
61-7954 ?
61-7955 1993.7
61-7956 (SR-71B) 3967.5
61-7957(SR-71B) ?
61-7958   2288.9
61-7959    866.1
61-7960   2669.6
61-7961   1601
61-7962   2835.9
61-7963   1604.4
61-7964   3373.1
61.7965   204.6
61-7966   64.4
 61-7967   2765.5
61-7968   2279.0
61-7969   ?
61-7970   545.30
 61-7971   3512.5
 61-7972   2801.1
 61-7973   1729.9
61-7974   ?
61-7975   2854
61-7976   2985.7
61-7977   ?
61-7978   ?
61-7979   3321.7
61-7980   2353.8
61-7981  (SR-71C)

 

  556.4

 

Since that Thousands of pages of official documentation on all members of the Blackbird family have been released by various government agencies. They include technical manuals, accident reports, maintenance records, and test reports. Many of them contain references to the serial numbers, all with the 61 prefix. Not a single official document has yet surfaced in which a 64 prefix was used. During the mid-1990s, a few SR-71s were reactivated for operational duty. Their markings included standard USAF tail numbers with the proper FY61 base number followed by the last three digits of the sequence number.

 

Here are some examples of Blackbird serial numbers, and their sources:
 
USAF Accident/Incident  Report (AF Form 711), 25 January 1966
"Vehicle Involved: SR-71, SN 61-7952 (#2003)"
"On 25 January 1966, SR-71, 61-7952, was airborne from Edwards..."
 
USAF Accident/Incident  Report (AF Form 711), 25 October 1967
"Vehicle Involved: SR-71A, SN 61-7965"
"SR-71 serial number 61-7965, call sign ASPEN 28, departed Beale AFB at..."
 
Aircraft Flight Status and Maintenance Record (AF Form 781H), October 1967:
"ACFT SERIAL NO. 61-7965"
 
USAF Accident/Incident  Report (AF Form 711), 18 December 1969
"Aircraft/Serial Number SR-71  61-7953"
"SR-71 Serial Number 61-7953, production number 4, was assigned..."

 

Maintenance Discrepancy/Work Record, December 1969:
"Serial No. 61-7953"
 
Special Order AB-147, 18 December 1969:
"to investigate the SR-71, SN 61-7953, aircraft accident"
 
Weight And Balance Clearance Form (DD Form 365F), 18 December 1969:
"Serial No. 61-7953"
 
SR-71A Category II Performance Tests, March 1970:
"These tests were conducted on SR-71A USAF S/N 61-7953 at the..."
"evaluation was conducted on SR-71B USAF S/N 61-7956 during the..."
 
USAF Accident/Incident  Report (AF Form 711), 17 June 1970:
Vehicles Involved:
"SR-71A SN 61-7970, KC-135Q, SN 59-1474"
"SR-71A, Serial Number 61-7970, call sign ASPEN 33, was..."
 
Aircraft Flight Status and Maintenance Record (AF Form 781H), 25 May 1970:
"ACFT SERIAL NO. 61-7970"
 
Technical Manual: Powerplant (SR-71-2-4), 15 November 1984:
"Applicable to AF S/N 61-7956 and subsequent."
 
Technical Manual: Mission Recorder System (SR-71-2-12), 1 May 1985:
"Airplane Serial Number Wiring Diagram"
"AF SER NO 61-79( )( )"
 
Technical Manual: Airframe Group (SR-71-2-2), 15 September 1987:
"AF Serial No. 61-7950 thru 61-7955"
"AF S/N 61-7956 and subsequent"
 
Operations Fact Sheet, 15 April 1997:
"SR-71B NASA Tail Number 831 (S/N 61-7956)"
 
Aerospace Vehicle Flight Report and Maintenance Document (AF Form 781F), 1997:
"Serial Number 61-7956"

 

                                                    

                            SR-71 PRODUCTION SCHEDULE

 LADC        USAF No.      ASSY START         FINAL START         SYM START         ROLL OUT

2001            617950            10 Oct 1962              09 Apr 1963              27 Jul 1963            25 Aug 1964

2002            617951            06 Dec 1963              04 Jun 1964              21 Sep 1964          20 Oct 1964

2003            617952            27 Jan 1964               22 Jul 1964               05 Nov 1964         08 Dec 1964

2004            617953            04 Mar 1964             28 Aug 1964             16 Dec 1964          19 Jan 1965

2005            617954            08 Apr 1964              05 Oct 1964              25 Jan 1965           23 Feb 1965

2006            617955            13 May 1964             05 Nov 1964            23 Feb 1965           24 Mar 1965

 STATIC                             18 Jun 1964               10 Dec 1964                            

 2007           617956(B)       18 Jun 1964              15 Jan 1965              21 Apr 1965           20 May 1965

 2008           617957(B)       28 Aug 1964             17 Feb 1965              20 May 1965         21 Jun 1965

 2009           617958            01 Oct 1964              22 Mar 1965             22 Jun 1965           22 Jul 1965

 2010           617959            03 Nov 1964             21 Apr 1965              21 Jul 1965            19 Aug 1965

 2011           617960            08 Dec 1964             21 May 1965            19 Aug 1965           20 Sep 1965

 2012          617961             13 Jan 1965              23 Jun 1965              20 Sep 1965           19 Oct 1965

 2013          617962             15 Feb 1965              23 Jul 1965              19 Oct 1965            17 Nov 1965

 2014          617963             16 Mar 1965            23 Aug 1965             16 Nov 1965           16 Dec 1965

 2015          617964             14 Apr 1965             22 Sep 1965              17 Dec 1965           19 Jan 1966

 2016          617965             13 May 1965           21 Oct 1965              20 Jan 1966            17 Feb 1966

 2017          617966             14 Jun 1965             19 Nov 1965             21 Feb 1966            21 Mar 1966

 2018          617967             14 Jul 1965              22 Dec 1965             21 Mar 1966           18 Apr 1966

 2019          617968             12 Aug 1965            25 Jan 1966              19 Apr 1966            17 May 1966

 2020          617969             13 Sep 1965             23 Feb 1966             18 May 1966           16 Jun 1966

 2021          617970             12 Oct 1965             24 Mar 1966            17 Jun 1966             18 Jul 1966

 2022          617971             10 Nov 1965           22 Apr 1966              19 Jul 1966              16 Aug 1966

 2023          617972             13 Dec 1965           23 May 1966             17 Aug 1966            15 Sep 1966

 2024          617973             14 Jan 1966            22 Jun 1966               19 Sep 1966            17 Oct 1966

 2025          617974            14 Feb 1966             22 Jul 1966               17 Oct 1966             14 Nov 1966

 2026          617975            15 Mar 1966           22 Aug 1966              15 Nov 1966            15 Dec 1966

 2027          617976            13 Apr 1966            21 Sep 1966               16 Dec 1966            18 Jan 1967

 2028          617977            12 May 1966          20 Oct 1966                19 Jan 1967            16 Feb 1967

 2029          617978            13 Jun 1966            18 Nov 1966               17 Feb 1967            20 Mar 1967

 2030          617979            13 Jul 1966             21 Dec 1966               21 Mar 1967           17 Apr 1967

 2031          617980            11 Aug 1966           24 Jan 1967                18 Apr 1967            16 May 1967

 2000          617981(C) ...(Note - Was made from the "static" model front end & YF#934 Aft end)

 

 
 
  C O M M E N T S

 

Aircraft Manufactured Model Number  
A-12 15*  
YF-12 3  
SR-71A 29  
SR-71B 2  
SR-71C 1**  
TOTAL 50**
A-12/M21
*Two A-12's were permanently modified to carry the D-21 Drone. The (A-12 / M21) combination was called Mother/Daughter 

** The 50th was assembled from a damaged YF-12 (#6934) and was fused with the front half of an SR (static test model) to make SR-71C # 7981

The modification was required to convert the camera bay of the A-12 to an LCO position

(Launch Control Officer to launch the D-21

Only two (2) crews were qualified to fly the LCO position Keith Beswick and Ray Torick
YF-12 Information: ( Data from Pete Law, Skunk Works Engineer )
All three YF-12As were purpose built from scratch, being manufacturers numbers 1001,1002,1003
The YF-12A had wing fuel like the A-12, but not like the SR-71 ( less wing fuel in the A-12 and YF-12A vehicles than the SR-71 )
The SR-71 had a different fuel tank arrangement than the A-12 and the YF-12A
The wing fuel in tanks 4 and 5 in the A-12 and YF-12A were enlarged and made into tanks 6A and 6B in the SR-71
The amount of fuel of wing fuel in tank 3 was increased in the SR-71
The SR-71 fuel capacity was about 80,600 pounds and the A-12 was about 65,000 pounds
 

 

SR-71 BLACKBIRD

AIR FRAMES THAT HAVE VISITED

       
R.A.F MILDENHALL
DET 4
 
Serial No From To Notes  
         
955* 09/07/83 30/07/83 Came sporting ID 962, ASARS-1 Test, 9th July 1983.  
         
958 07/01/77 17/01/77    
  16/05/77 31/05/77    
  16/12/81 21/12/81    
  08/09/83 12/06/84    
         
960 20/10/85 29/01/87    
         
962 06/09/76 18/09/76    
  19/10/84 Oct /85    
         
964 24/04/78 12/05/78    
  16/10/78 02/11/78    
  12/12/80 07/03/81    
  16/08/81 08/11/81 Bodo Divert  
  05/02/87 03/88    
  05/10/88 18/01/90 RAF Lakenheath  
         
967 02/03/89 19/01/90    
         
971 23/12/82 02/02/83    
  13/03/88 28/02/89    
         
972 09/09/74 13/09/74    
  20/04/76 30/04/76    
  12/03/79 28/03/79    
  13/09/80 02/11/80    
  06/03/81 05/05/81    
  18/12/82 06/07/83    
         
973 01/11/86 22/07/87    
         
974 30/04/82 13/12/82    
  02/08/83 July /84    
         
975  July /84 16/10/84    
         
976 24/10/77 16/11/77    
  18/10/79 13/11/79    
  09/04/80 09/09/80    
         
979 17/04/79 02/05/79    
  14/06/84 July /85    
         
980 07/01/82 27/04/82    
  07/03/83 03/09/83    
  18/07/85 29/10/86    
  27/07/87 03/01/90 RAF Lakenheath  
         
         
         
KADENA AB
OL-8 OL-RK OL-KA DET 1
MARCH 66 30/10/70 26/10/71 AUG 74
Serial No From To Notes  
         
958 17/07/80 16/07/81    
  11/06/85 06/04/86    
         
960 10/08/77 23/06/79    
  04/09/80 15/11/71    
  12/11/82 20/11/83    
         
961 18/08/72 07/06/73    
  16/08/74 21/06/76    
         
962 18/09/68 25/04/69    
  06/06/73 20/08/74    
  22/06/79 19/07/80    
  09/06/89 21/01/90    
         
963 21/08/72 13/06/73    
  13/08/74 16/07/76    
         
964 15/02/83 30/04/84    
  11/06/85 01/08/85    
         
967 14/08/77 03/08/79    
  04/04/86 20/11/87    
         
968 10/06/71 19/08/72    
  12/06/73 14/08/74    
  13/07/85 14/05/87    
         
969 24/09/69 *** Crashed 10th May 1970 near Korat RTAFB after refueling  
         
970 15/09/68 22/04/69    
         
971 18/04/69 28/09/69    
  14/08/72 10/06/73    
  26/11/74 14/07/76    
         
972 30/09/69 11/06/71    
  09/06/73 17/08/74    
  15/07/76 11/08/77    
  19/08/79 24/06/80    
  10/06/71 19/08/72    
  13/07/85 14/05/87    
         
973 27/09/69 08/06/71    
  27/03/84 26/06/85    
         
974 13/03/68 16/04/69    
  21/09/69 14/06/71    
  19/11/87 *** ***Crashed 21st April 1989 Near the Philippines  
         
         
975 24/04/69 22/10/69    
  18/12/70 17/06/71    
  11/08/72 04/06/73    
  12/08/77 20/07/79    
  14/07/81 17/02/83    
  13/05/87 30/06/88    
976 11/03/68 13/08/68  

27/07/68-- First Confirmed SA-2 firing against a SR-71,  A.P. Bevacqua  Pilot / J.L. Crew RSO

 
  19/08/74 30/01/75    
  20/07/76 09/08/77    
  24/06/80 07/06/82    
  18/11/83 13/12/84    
         
978 09/03/68 19/09/69    
  16/06/71 *** Crashed, 20th July 1972, Landing in high cross winds incident at Kadena AB,  
         
979 21/04/69 25/09/69    
  13/06/71 12/08/72    
  13/07/76 13/08/77    
  02/08/79 05/09/80    
  03/07/88 12/08/88    
         
980 12/09/68 19/04/69    
  19/06/71 15/08/72    
  06/06/82 13/08/82    
         

 

Member Of:

 

 

 

Blackbird Association U-2 / SR-71
Roadrunners Internationale U-2 / A-12 / YF-12A / M-21
Dragon Lady Association U-2
Supporter Of The 4080th SRW U-2 / RB-57D
     
 

Up ] 100th SRW ] 349th SRS ] 350th SRS ] 4080th SRW UNITS ] 4080th SRW ] 4080th SRW PHOTOS ] 4080th SRW FINAL FLIGHT ] 4080th SRW Reunion ] 4080th 2010 REUNION ] 4080th SRW REUNION 2008 ] 4025th SRS ] 4025th SRS TDYs' ] RB-57D CREW NAMES ] 4028th SRS Operations ] 4028th SRS VIETNAM ] 4028th SRS CUBA ] 4028th SRW SPECIAL ORDERS ] 4028th SRW TDY 2 ] 4028th SRW TDY 1 ] 4080/100th REUNION 2007 ] MIKE BOLIS ] 9th Lineage ] LOCKHEED U-2 DRAGON LADY ] 9th Operations Group ] 1st RS ] 1st ERS ] 5th RS ] 12th / 13th / 18th RS GLOBAL HAWK ] Other Global Hawk ] 99th RS/ 99th ERS ] 427th RS/ 489th RS ] 940th WING ] 17th RW ] U-2 TR1 TEST PATCHES ] U-2 DETACHMENTS ] U-2 SHIELDS ] U-2 DESERT SHIELD/STORM ] SHOULDER & NAME TAGS ] U-2 PILOTS BY DATE ] U-2 GUEST FLIGHTS ] U-2 50th Anniversary ] U-2 AIRFRAME ART ] 9th SRW ] 9th SRW Orders ] RAF MILDENHALL DET 4 ] OKINAWA AB DET 1 ] NORTON AFB DET 6 ] SR-71 BLACKBIRD PERFORMACE DATA ] [ SR-71 PRODUCTION DATA ] BLACKBIRD LOCATIONS ] BLACKBIRD CREW LIST ] BLACKBIRD 3plus CREW LIST ] BLACKBIRD  300 HOURS CREW LIST ] BLACKBIRD 600HRS CREW LIST ] BLACKBIRD 900/1000HRS PLUS CREW LIST ] BLACKBIRD FLIGHT CREWS ] BLACKBIRD AIRFRAME ART ] LONDON TO LA SPEED RUN ] DECEASED ] OPERATING LOCATIONS ] RECON SHIELDS ] OTHER SR-71 PATCHES ] Tour Jackets & Scarf's ] PSD ] TANKERS ] PROGRAMME NAMES ] AREA 51 GROOM LAKE ] C.I.A ] A-12 OXCART ] 4200th SRW ] 35th Squadron Ro CAF ] LOCKHEED ] WARNER ROBINS AFB ] NASA 1 ] NASA 2 ] TONY BEVACQUA ] RAF WADDINGTON 2011 ] RAF WADDINGTON 2012 ] TEE SHIRTS ETC ] BASEBALL CAPS ] UNKNOWN PATCHES ] RB-WB-57F ] NASA WB-57F ] ABOUT ME ] MY PHOTOS ] BEALE AFB 2011 AIRSHOW ] TRADES ] OTHER SITES ] OBITUARIES ]