Blackbird 964, callsign Minty 23, “somewhere over the North Sea - or is it the Atlantic?” The photograph was taken by the author from a KC-135Q tanker aircraft during an air-to-air refuelling manoevre.
SR-71 A No. 974 flaring to 12° prior to touchdown at Mildenhall in the summer of 1982.
SR-71A 17976 lands back at Mildenhall after another mission. The pale markings indicate that this photo was taken before the low-visibility scheme was introduced.
Captain (now Major) Rich Judson undergoes a suit and helmet check prior to a mission. The suit is virtually the same as that worn on the early Space Shuttle flights, and costs over £35,000.
The marked downthrust angle of the engine nacelle, and the drooped leading edge of the outer wing panel.
Blackbird '972, wearing the new low-visibility markings, returns to Mildenhall after a mission on January 25, 1983. The brake 'chute is jettisoned at about 60 knots to prevent damage to the rear fuselage from the metal shroud-line buckle.