We went to see Balboa Park with my brother, and our first stop was the
San Diego Aerospace Museum. Mike and my brother can be found
under the SR-71 in this picture,
A-12 Blackbird 06933
Since it's first official flight, this unique aircraft has been the uncontested winner of the world's continuing race for the skies. During its twenty-eight years of service, the Blakcbird was the only air-breathing aircraft in the world that was capable of sustained speeds of mach 3 at altitudes above 85,000 feet.
Cloaked in secrecy in its day, and to this day, the Blackbird remains an enigma. Design and development was funded in 1959. The first flight of the first A-12 took place on April 26, 1962.
Les than three dozen of these historic aircraft were ever built. They were powered by two Pratt and Whitney J-58 turbo-ram jet engines capable of 32,000 pounds of thrust each. the Blackbirds are 93% titanium, and are capable of carrying 84,180 pounds of fuel.
Few in number, the Blackbirds met our nation's strategic reconnaissance requirements for almost three decades. Typically, one of these aircraft could survey a strip of the United States 30 miles wide from coast to coast in an hour's time.
This aircraft, S/N 130 06933, one of the original production A-12's, made its maiden flight on November 27, 1963. It was retired after 217 flights in August 1965 with a total accumulated flight time of 406.20 hours.
06933 was in open storage at Palmdale, California for twenty-five years before the U.S. Air Force authorized the museum to exhibit the plane at its present location. The plane was disassembled and trucked to San Diego in October 1990. Following restoration, it was brought to Balboa Park and placed on public display in June 1991.
Here's a picture of the outside of the museum and our ticket stubs:
The museum guide provides the following information about the building:
About the Historic Ford Building
The building, now home to the San Diego Aerospace Museum, was built by the Ford Motor Company for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition.
Over 10,000 square feet of murals were painted on the building's interior walls, the longest of which, The March of Transportation, chronicles man's ideas and methods of transportation throughout history, offering insight into what the artists of the 1930s predicted for the future of transportation.
The museum has a circular footprint with a plane garden in the center.