The Kalamazoo Air Zoo has a big weekend planned in early October celebrating the legendary SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft. It is still holds the record as the fastest manned airplane ever.

The Lockheed SR-71 "Blackbird" is a long-range, high–altitude, Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft that was operated by the United States Air Force. It was developed as a black project from the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft in the 1960s by Lockheed and its Skunk Works division. During aerial reconnaissance missions, the SR-71 operated at high speeds and altitudes to allow it to outrace threats. If a surface-to-air missile launch were detected, the standard evasive action was simply to accelerate and outfly the missile. The shape of the SR-71 was based on the A-12 which was one of the first aircraft to be designed with a reduced radar cross-section. The SR-71 served with the U.S. Air Force from 1964 to 1998. A total of 32 aircraft were built; 12 were lost in accidents with none lost to enemy action. The SR-71 has been given several nicknames, including "Blackbird" and "Habu". Since 1976, it has held the world record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft, a record previously held by the related Lockheed YF-12. -wikipedia

The event is being dubbed the "SR-71 Spy-Posium. It will be the weekend of October 4th through 6th at the Air Zoo. The Air Zoo says it's the first time the cockpit will be on the display of the world's only remaining SR-71B. The plan is to have pilots and crew members available at the event.

Lockheed Blackbird
An airspeed record is expected to be set when the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft flies from the States to Farnborough Air Show. It flies at an altitude of 80,000 ft, is made of titanium and cruises at three times the speed of sound - about 2,000 mph, August 31, 1974. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

The plane will be on display for the public on October 4th and 5th, with a member only event on Sunday, October 6th. In addition, a fund raising event is set for Saturday evening that weekend, titled "The Blackbird Affair".  A detailed itinerary and schedule of events is at the Air Zoo website. Tickets went on sale August 23rd.

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