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Air Power: SR-71 Blackbird - The Secret Vigil #ASTVHS0003
Air Power: SR-71 Blackbird - The Secret Vigil
Aviation Week & Space Technology

The documentary, Air Power: SR-71 Blackbird, tells the fascinating story of how the fastest jet in the world, the SR-71, was developed and built by Lockheed, as well as ultimately deployed on top-secret reconnaissance missions.  Few aircraft have attracted more attention then the black supersonic jet that during the height of the Cold War ranged the globe on dangerous reconnaissance missions.  This definitive tribute to the SR-71 Blackbird includes the following reviews: 1) The History; 2) The Technology; 3) The missions and 4) The pilots.  The history of high-flying reconnaissance jets from the early beginnings of surveillance aircraft like the U-2 and the one man A-12 are reviewed as a backdrop to the SR-71.  The discussion on the technology that was a big factor in being able to develop the SR-71 is reviewed in detail.  As the viewer will see, the unprecedented design requirements of the aircraft including the ability to fly at Mach 3+ speeds and at altitudes of over 80,000 feet were a daunting challenge.  While many of the secret missions flown in the SR-71 can't be revealed, operations over and around the former Soviet Union, China, Cuba, North Korea, Nicaragua, the Middle East and Vietnam are discussed through interviews with the pilots who were involved with the program.  These pilots provide first-hand recollections of wartime missions, 12,000 mile long flights and multiple in-flight refueling necessary to get same-day information back to the White House.  This video includes footage of the SR-71 taking off, in-flight and taking on additional fuel while airborne.  It is certain to appeal to anyone who has an interest in aviation history.  Full screen in color.  Released in 1989.  Runtime 60 minutes.


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