Fri, Nov 21, 2003
Barksdale AFB To Acquire SR-71 Next Month
It should happen any day now. An
SR-71 Blackbird should arrive at Barksdale AFB (LA), near
Shreveport, where it will be put on permanent display along with
the base's growing number of vintage military aircraft.
"We’re shooting for a mid-November arrival," said Buck
Rigg, museum director. "We’re having it trucked in from
Edwards Air Force Base."
Worldwide Aircraft Recovery is handling the move and will
reassemble the Blackbird once it gets to Barksdale. The total cost
of the move, $140,000, will come from government grants and
donations to the Eighth Air Force Museum Association.
The Air Force retired its fleet of SR-71s in January 1990.
The Pentagon cited a tightened defense budget and the high cost of
operating the Blackbirds. It cost as much as $100,000 an hour to
fuel and fly the airplanes and almost as much to suit its crew
The SR-71 at Barksdale will be positioned just off the nose of
the Eighth Air Force Museum's B-47. There, museum director Buck
Rigg says, "people can photograph it well." The Blackbird display
is expected to open December 17th, as America celebrates the
centennial of flight.
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