Ode to the Blackbird

By Deane Barker on March 9, 2008

Major Brian Shul: “I loved that jet”: A sentimental article from an SR-71 pilot about what may be the greatest aircraft ever built.

After several agonizingly long seconds, we made the turn and blasted toward the Mediterranean. ‘You might want to pull it back,’ Walter suggested. It was then that I noticed I still had the throttles full forward. The plane was flying a mile every 1.6 seconds, well above our Mach 3.2 limit. It was the fastest we would ever fly. I pulled the throttles to idle just south of Sicily, but we still overran the refueling tanker awaiting us over Gibraltar.