Own and display an authentic piece of flown titanium from SR-71 Blackbird 'Super Skater' (s/n 61-7970) in this freestanding 6 x 8-inch acrylic two-sided desk display. Original art with the titanium piece on the front. Full history and COA on the reverse. Each signed & numbered.
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.
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. These pieces were recovered from the crash site in June 2013 by Zane Harwell, from whom these parts were directly obtained. The vast majority of the aircraft was removed from the site by the government in 1970, but these few pieces of wreckage remained.
Signed & numbered by the artist.
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