SR-71 Bye Bye Blackbird Leather Air force Bomber Jacket

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  • Item Category: Militaria & Weapons
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Dec 01, 2007
  • Channel: Auction House

This is a commemorative issue SR-71 Blackbird "Bye Bye Blackbird" Bomber Jacket.
Size Medium

In January of 1990 the military made the first retirement of the SR-71 blackbird. A poster was made and given out to many (see picture 2), but to a select few (mostly the SR-71 pilots) a commemorative jacket was given out. This is one of those few commemorative jackets. It is now for sale on eBay for someone who can give it the respect it reserves (not kept in my attic). This jacket deserves to be framed and kept with someone who has a proper collection.

Unlike the Blackbird, this jacket will never be re-issued.

This jacket has been worn by a past pilot. If you wanted to wear it, more than for show, it would require some repair. The interior fabric has some rips and the sleeves are frayed (see pictures). All from proper use. In some of the pictures I have the owner is leaning on his left shoulder with equipment hanging to the right. You can see the wear in the picture. I have taken pictures of the flaws and jacket wear.

Question: Can this be worn 'as is'?
Answer: Yes, I've actually worn it a few times myself out to non-smoking bars. It's a great conversation starter and someone always asks me about it. I often got stopped on the street.

Question: Can it be repaired?
Answer: Yes, t are no rips or holes in the actual leather. Mostly the cuffs are frayed and the internal cloth is coming loose. I considered repairing it myself but wanted to keep it in authentic condition.

The SR-71, unofficially known as the "Blackbird," was a long-range, advanced, strategic reconnaissance aircraft developed from the Lockheed A-12 and YF-12A aircraft.

The first flight of an SR-71 took place on December 22, 1964, and the first SR-71 to enter service was delivered to the 4200th (later, 9th) Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Beale AFB, California, in January 1966.

The U.S. Air Force retired its fleet of SR-71s on January 26, 1990, because of a decreasing defense budget and high costs of operation. The USAF returned the SR-71 to the active Air Force inventory in 1995 and began flying operational missions in January 1997 and again retired permanently in 1998.

Throughout its career, the SR-71 remained the world's fastest and highest-flying operational aircraft. From 80,000 feet it could survey 100,000 square miles of Earth's surface per hour.

On July 28, 1976, an SR-71 set two world records for its class: an absolute speed record of 2,193.167 miles per hour and an absolute altitude record of 85,068.997 feet.

The SR-71 flew at more than three times the speed of sound at altitudes in excess of 80,000 feet (approximately 15 miles high). Three times the speed of sound (Mach 3) is more than 2,000 miles per hour or about 3,100 feet per second. By comparison, the muzzle velocity of a .30-06 rifle bullet is only 3,000 feet per second



Developed for the USAF as reconnaissance aircraft more than 30 years ago, SR-71s are still the world's fastest and highest-flying production aircraft. The aircraft can fly more than 2200 mph (Mach 3+ or more than three times the speed of sound) and at altitudes of over 85,000 feet.

For its reconnaissance mission, the aircraft was outfitted with an advanced synthetic aperture radar system [ASARS-I], an optical bar camera and a technical objective camera wet film system. All were once part of the aircraft's original equipment.

The SR-71 was designed by a team of Lockheed personnel led by Clarence "Kelly" Johnson, at that time vice president of the company's Advanced Development Projects, known as the "Skunk Works." The first version, a CIA reconnaissance aircraft that first flew in April 1962 was called the A-11. Upon retrofitting with J-58 engine, it was designated the A-12. An interceptor version was developed in 1963 under the designation YF-12A. A USAF reconnaissance variant, called t...