Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by hornetguy, Apr 6, 2009.
I want one
I hear the CIA keeps one for quick transportation...
...then again, I might have read that in a Fiction book.
NASA has a couple though...
Used to watch them on the scope coming out of Utapao going north over China and then to Kadena. They were classified flights and it was funny watching the Thai controllers tracking the flight on the plot board and the Duty Commander running up to erase the plot every two minutes. Thai Officer: What Plot?? Duty Officer: No Plot!! Thai Officer: Designation?? Duty Commander: Uh, OK Watermellon!! Then erased track. They cruised up kind of slow then about half way to Laos they were off the hieght finder and gone due north in two sweeps. Magnificent bird. Landed at Utapao on a hop one time and a crew chief said do you see that black ship over there? No you don't!
Okay, true story time...
Air Refueling track up near northern Norway...an SR71 track. We fly our tanker from RAF Mildenhall ALLLLLLL the way up there...meet up with "the sled" and give him a full load of fuel.
Then we bet him: "...last guy up to FL450 buys the beer at the Smoke House Inn bar!" For non flyers, FL450 is 45,000 feet.
So off we go!!! We in our mighty KC-135Q Stratobladder and they in their super secret, super fast, lead sled.
We leveled off at FL450...and waited...and waited...and waited. FYI...the sled, with a full load of fuel, and NOT in afterburner...was/is a PIG!
So we won...they acknowledged their loss and said: "Meet us at the bar when you're done with your preflight and we'll pay up! See ya!"
So we headed back to RAF Mildenhall...and about 7 hours later (5 hours flying time, 2 hours postflight/debrief) we arrived in the bar of the Smoke House...and they were there: SLOSHED!
You see...they had flown their 3,000 mile mission and returned to Mildenhall in about an hour and ten minutes and then had their mission debrief, intel, etc...etc...
And had been at the bar for about 3 hours!!!
VERY fast jet!
The Bloody 100th....NBKAWTG
Very, Very, Very, few got to experience the ultimate ride in a SR-71. Best rides ever was low on the deck in a Huey, Doors open, feet on the rails watching the Canopy and Klongs go by.
In '86, I think it was around July or August, I was taking a trip home to Pendleton from Kadena, via Flying Tigers.
There was an SR-71 there, just rolling out of the hanger. A bunch of leathernecks snapped pictures of it and so we had to have a talk with base security about the classified nature of the aircraft.
Anyhow, we were told that it was heading to Arizona, and would be taking off a few hours behind us.
We took off only minutes after this conversation.
About 3 or 4 hours later, shortly after they took off, I saw it on the starboard side, mid flight as it passed us and waved farewell. Naturally I took a photo of it from the window and still have it in my scrapbook today. We landed about 18 or 19 hours later, I heard they were in Arizona more than 12 hours before we reached the San Diego Airport.
I wish it were still in service today...
I miss all the fun.
ETA: I'm still at "Stratobladder".
I was TDY at Mountain Home AFB in Feb '91 with a Marine Harrier squadron in the middle of FEB and boy was it cold (of course we were stationed in Yuma so anything would seem cold). A bunch of us were hanging out in the hanger and we see an SR-71 come in for a landing. Awsome sight.
The aircraft taxied off the runway, and came to a stop. Next thing we know theres a security vehicle along with a flight line vehicle stopping in front of us. One of the guys in the flight line vehicle asked us if they could borrow a piece of yellow gear (aircraft tractor). Seems the AF in Mountain Home only had aircraft tractors with cabs on them, and they didn't have a long enough tow bar to get the SR-71 into the hanger. So the line NCO says "Sure, we'll be over in a minute", he grabs a cranial, tosses it to me, and says "Come on Doc, you'll never get to do this again!". He was so right!! Nothing like being under the nose of an SR-71. A memory I'll never forget.
Some of us were smarter (or luckier?) than others..
I am sure you didn't miss out on any "fun". I am sure you have your own fun stories. Using "soldier" as a generic reference for all who serve I will steal a quote from a great title and a great man. We can always say "We Were Soldiers Once and Young". Oh to be young again and stupid Insert clueless.
Huey flights "Tequila Flights" were courtesy of 7th(Air)Cavalry. A long way from Little Big Horn.
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