Sr-71a Blackbird (#61-7980): Large American Flag
SR-71A Blackbird (#61-7980): Large American Flag Flown during the Last Flight of the Blackbird.
A fabulous framed display featuring a 12.5" x 7.75" cloth U.S. flag matted with a 9" x 4" photo taken of the plane during this flight and a 6.5" x 4" reproduction of the signed certificate of authenticity (all sight sizes): overall dimensions are 17" x 21". This was the very last flight of any SR-71 Blackbird. On the back of the frame is a sheet with the following printed information: "This flag was flown aboard the Lockheed SR-71A on its last flight. This flight was made using the final SR-71A built #61-7980 (NASA 844) and took place during the Edwards AFB Open House on October 9, 1999. Originally the aircraft was scheduled to fly again the following day, but maintenance problems forced them to cancel at the last minute. With the decision by NASA to no longer continue the flight test program, this turned out to be the final flight of this magnificent aircraft. A copy of the signed certificate has been framed with the flag for authenticity as well as a photo taken of the SR-71 during that final flight which reached a speed of Mach 3.2 and an altitude of 80,100 feet." On the glass are lightly mounted two patches, one NASA meatball and a Blackbird 3+. Excellent condition.
Directly from the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center flight log for this aircraft: "NASA crews flew four Lockheed SR-71 airplanes between July 1991 and October1999. They were used for research and to support the U.S. Air Force reactivation of the SR-71 for reconnaissance missions. The Air Force had retired the Blackbirds in 1990, but Congress reinstated funding for additional flights. Lockheed SR-71A (61-7980 / NASA 844) arrived at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center on 15 February 1990. It was placed into storage until 1992. It served as a research platform until October 1999. Following its final flight, on 9 October 1999, it was again stored at the Center. It was placed on static display in front of DFRC on 14 September 2002. This aircraft made 734 flights during its service life, including 56 NASA flights. It accrued a total of 2,353.6 flight hours."