In the Strib:
Minnesota Sens. Norm Coleman and Amy Klobuchar introduced legislation Tuesday aimed at helping the Minnesota Air Guard Museum retain a 1960s spy plane that is slated for transfer to CIA headquarters in Langley, Va.
Last week, Air Force workers began disassembling the A-12 Blackbird, which has been at the museum since 1991. A team of Minnesota volunteers had rescued the 99-foot-long plane from the scrap heap in California and restored it, including a rare refurbishment of its cockpit instruments.
First of all, it really doesn’t seem fair that the Air Force and CIA are just taking this plane after volunteers painstakingly restored it, presumably for the purpose of displaying it in their museum.
Second, the A-12 isn’t a “Blackbird”, is it? The program was “Oxcart”, and it’s sometimes referred to as the “Cygnus”, though I don’t know if that was ever official. (Actually, I’m not even sure if “Blackbird” was ever official for the SR-71…) I’ve always thought that references to the “A-12 Balckbird” were mistakes. But here’s a government pic from the DVIC:
An air-to-air right side view of an A-12 Blackbird aircraft carrying a D-21 drone. Date Shot: 6 Jan 1982
Again, a couple of nits to pick. First, I believe the A-12s modified to carry the D-21 were referred to as M-12s. (This is aircraft 06940, one of two A-12s modified into M-12s, and it is currently at the Seattle Museum of Flight.) Second, I don’t think the date of 1982 can possibly be correct, as the program was cancelled in 1966. So I don’t know that this caption has much credibility.
Someone straighten ol’ Murdoc out.