SR-71A Blackbird with Signed Data Plate by Chief Test Pilot Robert "Bob" Gilliland

CCSR71RG
$189.95
SR-71A Blackbird with Signed Data Plate by Chief Test Pilot Robert "Bob" Gilliland
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SR-71A Blackbird with Signed Data Plate by Chief Test Pilot Robert "Bob" Gilliland

CCSR71RG

$189.95

Product Details


Robert J. "Bob" Gilliland was born in Memphis, TN. During WWII, at the age of 17, he volunteered for the U.S. Navy and was training to go into submarines when he was accepted into the U.S. Naval Academy at the war's end. He graduated from Annapolis in 1949 with a degree in engineering. Just prior to graduation he volunteered to enter the USAF in the first class to be offered this opportunity. He did his flight training at Randolph Field, TX, and soloed in the T-6.

The SR-71 was first conceptualized early in 1956, by Kelly Johnson's "Skunk Works" crew at Lockheed. The original design was designated the A-12, a high speed fighter interceptor, and won a highly secret design competition on August 29, 1959 and was finally approved by the CIA under a code-named project Oxcart on January 30, 1960.

On 22 December 1964, Lockheed Test Pilot Bob Gilliland flew the first flight of SR-71 #950 at Palmdale, Calf, flying for 1 hour and over 1000 mph. As the SR-71 program continued to grow, Gilliland continued to be the first pilot to fly each Blackbird as it became operational, logging more experimental supersonic flight test-time above Mach 2 and Mach 3 than any other pilot.

A fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Gilliland was awarded the Iven C. Kincheloe Award in 1964 for his work on the Blackbird program. He was named an Eagle by the Air Force Flight Test Historical Foundation in 1998 and received the Godfred L. Cabot Award established by the Lancaster City Council. Gilliland was also awarded the Aerospace Walk of Honor for his distinguished aviation career.

Certificate of Authenticity included.