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Taking it back to elementary?
There are many significant dates associated with an aircraft. Manufacture date, first flight, last flight. SR-71A 17955 first went under construction on May 13, 1964. She first flew August 17, 1965, living her whole operational life as the resident Palmdale test aircraft, paving the way for safe operation of the rest of the Blackbird fleet. Her last flight took place on January 24, 1985, after 1993.7 hours of flight time. But what happens after the final flight? What important dates could remain?
If we were talking about any other government aircraft, the next date I’d have to list is when she was transported to the 309th Aerospace and Maintenance and Regeneration Group in Tucson, Arizona, also known as the Boneyard. There, she’d be parted out and used for spares to keep the rest of her fleet in the air, or chopped up by guillotine and recycled into razor blades. Fortunately, we aren’t talking about just any government aircraft. All 30 surviving Blackbird aircraft were spared from the boneyard and put on museum duty, where they can be viewed by the public indefinitely.
April 3, 2002, SR-71A 17955 was towed through Edwards Air Force Base by a Peterbilt semi-truck and put on permanent display at the Air Force Flight Test Museum.