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Record setters headed to Museum of Aviation

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

Forty years ago, the SR-71 flew at a speed of 2,193 mph to set the World Absolute Speed Record.

As a celebration of the July 28, 1976 event, the two who flew the airplane to its milestone will be at the Museum of Aviation July 30.

“People all over are asking about it,” said Tyler Bryant, museum public relations and marketing. “They come here to see several planes, and the Blackbird is one of them.”

The free event will take place at the Century of Flight hangar starting at 9:30 a.m. with a proclamation from several area mayors as well as a moderated discussion with the fastest men alive, retired Maj. Gen. Eldon Joersz the pilot, and retired Lt. Col. George Morgan, the reconnaissance systems officer.

Along with hearing the men speak, there will also be time set aside for autographs, a make-and-take model building of an SR-71, and there will be food trucks from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This particular SR-71, which is the airplane that broke the record, arrived in Warner Robins on Feb. 23, 1990. The museum has all of its maintenance records which indicate the craft has nearly 2,800 flying hours.

The RSO and pilot are separated from each other in the cockpit. Their only means of communication was an intercom system. The RSO and pilot needed to be so well-tuned to each other, the pair always tested together in the SR-71.

The high altitude reconnaissance aircraft’s record still stands today.

Those who worked on the SR-71 including other pilots and maintenance workers will also be in attendance for the event.

So far, 13 veterans will be in attendance, said Mike Rowland, museum curator.

“Part of what makes this so unique is that all three record holders [two men and the plane] are being reunited,” Rowland said.

What to know: For more information on the event, visit www.museumofaviation.org or call the