IEAR...Inland Empire Aviation Roundtable

IEAR holds monthly meetings, open to the public, where subjects of interest to the air-minded public are presented. We encouragelively informal discussion of these presentations, and of other timely subjects
raised by the attendees. Subjects include aviation and aerospace history, both civil and military, as well as new developments in these fields. Parking and admission are free for this event.


The Inland Empire Aviation Roundtable is sponsored by the March Field Air Museum,
and is dedicated to the local aviation and aerospace community.



Inland Empire Aviation Roundtable


The SR-71 Blackbird



Presented by: Col. Jim Shelton, USAF (retired)


March Field Air Museum March 13th, 2014 7 pm


Jim received his wings in 1956. He flew the F-86F in Korea and then was assigned to the B-47 program in 1958. In 1964 he flew the F-102 in preparation for flying the B-58 Mach 2 bomber. Jim started flying the SR-71 in 1968. He flew operational missions over North Viet Nam, North Korea, the periphery of China, Korea and the Middle East. Jim retired from March AFB in 1980, and worked for Lockheed’s Skunk Works in Logistic Support for the F-117 Stealth Fighter, retiring in 1991. His presentation will take place next to the Museum’s SR-71, and will cover Blackbird program history, characteristics ofthe aircraft, thrust creation to obtain Mach 3.2, safety features, sensor capabilities and some mission descriptions.


The Lockheed SR-71 "Blackbird" was an advanced, long-range, Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft. It was developed as a black project from the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft in the 1960s by Lockheed and its Skunk Works division. Clarence "Kelly" Johnson was responsible for many of the design's innovative concepts. During reconnaissance missions, the SR-71 operated at high speeds and altitudes to allow it to outrace threats. If a surface-to-air missile launch was detected, the standard evasive action was simply to accelerate and outfly the missile.