The SR-71 Blackbird entered service with the United States Air Force in 1964 and began development in 1958. It remains the fastest aircraft ever built. Over 90% of the SR-71 was made of titanium, a rare material at that time. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was tasked to obtain titanium from the world’s most plentiful source - the Soviet Union, the country which the SR-71 was being built to spy on. Through shell companies, the CIA purchased material through Third World countries, and shipped the raw ore to the United States for processing and SR-71 production at the Skunk Works ultra-secret Lockheed plant in Palmdale, California.
This piece of ‘Soviet’ titanium was part of SR-71 'Super Skater' (serial number 17970). This aircraft was lost on 17 June 1970 following a re-fueling collision with a KC-135Q (59-1474) tanker. Lt. Col. Buddy L. Brown and his RSO Maj. Mortimer J. Jarvis both ejected and survived the crash. The KC-135 made it back to Beale AFB, California with a damaged refueling boom and aft fuselage. Super Skater crashed into the desert.
This wall hanging display is framed under glass and is 8.5 x 11 inches in size and the titanium fragment is 1.2 x 1.2 inches.
Each signed and numbered by the artist - 1 of only 50.
Authentic flown piece of linen from the first United States Navy rigid airship USS Shenandoah combined with the original artwork of this historic aircraft flying over the Muskingum County Courthouse...
Very special 11x17-inch wall-hanging display from Ron Cole that pairs polished aluminum cowling sections from one of the most famous of the classic Pan American World Airways clippers - L-047...
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