I am definitely a child at heart. Since watching Concorde do her trial flights at age 3, I’ve been into aviation and cool planes.
I now live very near the heart of the US military aviation industry – the Skunkworks. Skunkworks are responsible for some of the very coolest planes on the planet – U2, F117 Stealth, B2 and of course the most astounding plane on the planet – the SR71 Blackbird.
There is an open museum here and true to my philosophy of “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”, I called to see if I could somehow get my Atom in a photoshoot with some of these awesome machines. With deep gratitude to former SR71 pilot Bill Flanagan and to Tony at Edwards AFB, I was able to live out a ton of fantasies and I have added some pics from that photoshoot below.
I still can’t believe the F117 is now retired. What an amazing piece of machinery it is. The A12 and SR71 of course are just breathtaking. I think the Atom might take the SR71 0-60, but it will probably have the upper hand from 60-2200!! With a takeoff speed of 240, a skin temperature up to 800 degrees (hence it’s construction from Titanium as aluminium melts at 300!), flying at 85,000ft and being an originator of stealth all in the early 1960s, Blackbird was a truly jaw-dropping leap in technology.
I’ll just leave you with some photos from what was truly as magnificent day for me. If you like the photos, please let Paige know at
Click on the images below if you’d like to find out more about how I get paid to own an Ariel Atom and do this stuff!.