Always wanted to own a piece of the fastest plane ever made and have a motorcycle you don’t want taking up space in the garage? A member of the ADVRider forums wants to swap his collection of extremely rare pieces salvaged from an SR-71 crash site for a plated dual-sport. Here’s details.
All these twisted, fractured parts come from the site of an SR-71 crash in 1967 that the seller discovered 10 years ago. The pilots were able to eject safely before the plane crashed.
As expected from an airframe 93 percent composed from titanium, many of the parts are Ti, including parts of the fuselage, structural components, nuts, bolts and even paper thin Ti washers used to shim the control surfaces to ensure stable flight. Check out the non-melted Ti bolt topped with a melted glob of less heat-resistant metal.
Included in the collection are also the red lens from the fire warning light and pieces of the quartz used to insulate the SR-71’s running lights and cameras from the extreme heat created by friction with air particles during sustained high-speed flights.
There’s even pieces of honeycomb composite, a material I hadn’t realized was even invented in the 1960s.
The Lockheed SR-71 was a Mach 3.2+ spy plane that saw service from 1964 to 1998. Even though its existence was announced by Lyndon Johnson in 1964 as a bid for re-election, details of the Blackbird remained secret for much of it service life. 32 complete planes were manufactured, amazingly 12 of those crashed, but none of those crashes were ever attributed to enemy fire. The SR-71’s mechanism for avoiding surface-to-air missiles was simply to accelerate, it could fly higher and faster than any SAMs of the era. Capable of flying from New York to London (including pauses for mid-air refueling) in 1 hour and 54 minutes. It’s highest official speed is 2,193.2mph, which remains an absolute record for air-breathing planes.
ADVRider member Highcountry values this collection at $4,000 and would accept cash value for it, but would much rather get a new motorcycle in the deal. You can find details of the proposed swap here.
We’ve taken the opportunity to gratuitously include a bunch of nice shots of the SR-71 from the Nasa Image Archives in the gallery below.