A-12 first flight

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Sat 21 Nov 92  1:45
By: Albert Dobyns
To: All
Re: A-12 first flight
   All of the reference material I have plus some info I received yesterday that
is part of a Lockheed document says that the A-12's first flight was 26 April
1962, not 1961.  The contract between Lockheed and the CIA was formalized
beginning in August 1959.  Development took awhile considering how complex the
plane was and that almost everything had to be invented! I believe the SR-71
was used during the 1967 middle east war and of course just about everyplace
else before its retirement.  I believe that the last of the Blackbird fleet was
built in 1968.  So far I haven't found anything to indicate any A-12 flights
before April 1962 although the plane made a short hop when the pilot was doing
high-speed taxi tests.  Not all that uncommon for new jets!  The U-2 did it
too, but the pilot discovered that it's a hard plane to land.  It just doesn't
want to stop flying, and the pilot has to stall the plane at the right moment
so that it will land on the main gear without coming down tail or nose first!
On the other hand, I learned from a former SR pilot that it can fly faster than
I used to think it could.  At Mach 3 to 3.2 the plane is just cruising!!  There
used to be a tv show called Path to Glory (or something close to that).  An
early episode has the main guy trying to convince an airline pilot who saw a
Blackbird in flight from blowing its cover to some magazine.  It worked out ok
in tv show but Av Week reported some 747 pilots were buzzed by what may have
been the Aurora!! <--the plane, not the lights in the sky!  I have a hunch that
the only areas not flown directly over by the Blackbirds are the old USSR,
Antarctica(cant be spelled right)...the South Pole area.  Oh maybe even parts
of Africa?
   Heck I don't know..just making some guesses between the lines.  If I knew for
certain, I probably couldn't tell ya.

   Here's a possible way to get photos of Groom Lake: buy photos from Russian
recon satellites!  Would someone like to try that and let us know how it went?
Also let us know your visiting hours. ;->  I'm too chicken to do it.  Jail has
never appealed to me even if I got to share a cell with Bob Lazar!  Is he still
in jail?

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