Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Yep. The A-12 at CIA.

Yep. Y'all are too good.

It's the A-12 at the CIA's headquarters in Langley, VA, Serial #60-06931.
I just sorta happened to be in the neighborhood and I had to grab a few shots, especially as it's in a "non-public" location where most people will never get to see it.

Yes, it looks like an SR-71, but the A-12 predates the SR-71 and is a bit sleeker up front, as a few astute commenters have already pointed out, as it's a single-seater whereas the SR-71 is a two-seater. The A-12 could actually fly a bit higher and faster as a result.

These flew for the CIA from 1963 to 1968, and the last two missions flown by A-12s were to locate and observe the USS Pueblo, which had been hijacked by the North Koreans in January of that year.

13 A-12s were built, and of those, five were lost operationally. The remaining were placed in storage for 20 years and then dispersed to museums across the country. 60-06931 here had originally been sent to the Minnesota Air Guard museum, where it had been restored and cared for by the museum staff for almost two decades. But in 2007, the Air Force, who still owned it, gave the required 60-day notice and reclaimed the aircraft. They transferred it to the CIA headquarters over strenuous objections of many Minnesotans, including the Governor.

A-12 ARTICLE #128 (Serial #60-06931) Goes to CIA

How the CIA captured an A-12 Blackbird

And thanks to Old AF Sarge for this cool Google Earth pic of it.

It's still a sharp plane, and I'll miss seeing it when I head down south.

And no, I don't work at the CIA...at least as far as any of you all know. Heh.


  1. I like the design of the pylons they have it mounted to.

    Very sleek, just like the aircraft!

    1. I'd rather see it on it's gear, inside a climate-controlled building, myself. Ideally that building would be a hangar that I had the keys to. :-)

  2. Will you give us a report when PT-305 arrives at LP?

  3. Anonymous7:12 PM

    This bird belongs in a museum not out in the elements

  4. Yep, pretty bird... :-)

  5. Blackbird (A12 or SR71) is still on my Top 5 Most Beautiful Aircraft list, along with Mustang, Constellation, Corsair, and FW-190.

    Hmmm - two Lockheed products there.

  6. NICE!
    And you'd have to say you didn't, even if you did!


  7. No, it is "I can neither confirm or deny"