Home Today Years Ago September 1, 1974: Blackbird Sets Speed Record
September 1, 1974: Blackbird Sets Speed Record

September 1, 1974: Blackbird Sets Speed Record

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Today in 1974, the Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird” aircraft set the “speed over a recognized course” record, flying from New York to London (3,461.5 miles) in 1 hour 54 minutes 56.4 seconds (a record it still holds as of this writing). It was flown by U.S. Air Force pilot James V. Sullivan and Reconnaissance Systems Officer Noel F. Widdifield. Throughout its operational career, the Blackbird was the world’s fastest and highest-flying manned aircraft.