Blackbird had to train its pilots too.
The SR-71 was once amongst the fastest air breathing jets ever. It could soar above Mach 3 and ply the skies over hostile territory with impunity. What’s more impressive is that this jet was built with mostly drawing boards, slide rules, and air tunnels.
While the Blackbird remains one of the most advanced jets ever, the pilots who flew it trained like any other air force jet. They would do practice sorties to maintain air refueling currency. They would also fly practice approaches occasionally and even perform touch and goes for currency and training purposes.
Here’s a rare video of the SR-71 performing a touch and go. Even with 1980s filmography, the jet remains one of the sleekest birds ever to grace our skies. And be sure to check out the final landing. The skillful pilot kicked the rudders gently when he released the drag chute so that the wind would take it off the active runway. Wow!