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The piece is beautiful and the display stand is great!  I absolutely love them, and thank you again for helping me.  I thought I had missed out on my opportunity to own a piece of history, and you made sure that didn't happen.  Here's a photo of it on display on my Skunk Works shelf in my display shelf.

Thank you very much.  Mike

M I K E   L Y N A U G H   P H O T O G R A P H Y  ~  A K R O N ,   O H

Hi Dan,

I’m back in the UK now.
While I was visiting the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in Oregon I asked the staff if it was ok for me to put your ring over the pitot of their SR-71 and take some photos, they very kindly agreed and I must admit It did attract a bit of interest as to where people could get one. I sent them all in your direction of course!
I also rested it on the inside of the ejector nozzle as well.  I have posted them on my personal online photo gallery which I am free to do so you may link to that if you want.

When I got back to the UK I decided to take a studio shot of the ring before it gets scratched or worn and I’m very pleased with the way this came out. Feel free to use this photo on your site wherever or however you want!

Hope you like the photos!

Ben Dean


How have you been?

I'm just writing to let you know that, one month ago, Jill put your ring on my finger. It was a very special day, I will never forget it. About 30 friends and relatives flew up from Brazil for the occasion, joining about 60 people from around the Pacific Northwest. Thank you for your part in it.

Oh, and a couple days ago, I visited the Museum of Flight here in Seattle, to watch a talk about World War 1 fighters. (I'm a member of the museum and go there pretty often). It occurred to me to take the attached picture before I left. I figured you might enjoy it.

Cheers, Bernardo Malfitano

Hi Dan,

Well I made it to Seattle last night! My body clock is all a bit confused currently so I'm wide awake at 4am. So I thought I would send you a quick email about the ring.

Let me start by saying wow. The pictures my friend sent me don't do it justice at all. In person It is even more beautiful and what's more it fits me absolutely perfectly. It's so comfortable! The coloration is perfect as well! It has surpassed all my expectations and I couldn't be happier. You sir are a highly skilled craftsman! Amazing!

I will treasure it for the rest of my life.

I will take some pictures of it over the rest of the holiday but I probably won't have time to send them to you until I get back to the UK.

Thanks Again.

Ben Dean

Hi Dan,
Just wanted to let you know that the ring arrived all good. Good fit and looks great. Thanks heaps for the work you have done, and all the info you provided.
I had a look for the aircraft name online seems to have been an unfortunate end for an amazing aircraft.
Hope all is well for you, thanks again.
Kyle Osborne

Hi Dan,

Thanks for making and shipping the ring so quickly. I have received your mail package, and you did a great job!


John Power

Hi Dan,

The ring and bracelet arrived.  They are great and look fantastic!  Thanks heaps for the bit of SR-71 chute strapping too.  I can't wait to let people know what the ring is made of. I've loved those planes since being a kid.

Andrew Stevens

Hi Dan,

Just wanted to let you know the ring and the drag chute arrived today. We are both so happy with it, Brendan can't get over the colour of it, keeps repeating that its just amazing.

Thank you so much for this wonderful ring, and your great service.

Best wedding experience with anyone yet!

Tristen Van Deyk

Hi Dan,
I picked up the ring today. Looks amazing. The chute and patch are awesome too.
As always, thank you very much Dan. Awesome product!
Ken Doyle

I just picked up the package from USPS. Wow, thank you so much, Shawna is going to be thrilled, I think. The rings are outstanding!
Henry Cole

I'm the recipient of the CJB bracelet showing on your products page and I want to say how much I am enjoying wearing it! Thanks for providing such a neat product - my friend and I share a strong affinity for the SR-71 and, let me tell you, this gift from him is going to be damn difficult to top come Christmas!
Christopher Bellios

Hi Dan,

I wanted to let you know the package has arrived. Oh what a special ring this is!! John is thrilled! John recognized what part this is and is well aware of the aircraft it came from. John is going to call you to talk. Did you personally ever work on aircraft 17959 which is now at Eglin Air Force Base? Thank you so very much! This is a very special thing for us!

Karen Battle

Col Morgan and Maj Gen Joersz still maintain the WORLD'S ABSOLUTE SPEED RECORD in SR-71A, #617958, set on 28 July 1976.
A 37 year long record, and still counting.

Good evening Dan,

I picked up the cufflinks and documents this afternoon from the mailbox.  They are wonderful, thank you!  I can't wait to give them to Jim on Friday. 
He is going to be over the moon!

The patches/badges were an unexpected surprise as well.  Can you please tell me more about them, their history?

Sue Yetman

Hey Dan,

Just wanted to let you know that the package arrived and everything looks great!  The ring is flawless, the shield looks awesome especially with JP-7 cooked on the back, and I really appreciate the dog tags as well.  She is framing the certificates and they'll be put on display.  Vanessa and I are getting married this December so I'll be sure to send you some pictures from the wedding.

One thing is for sure Dan you are achieving your goal, preserving the history of the SR-71 and the operation behind it.  Once again I appreciate your hard work and thank you for the opportunity!!!

     Sincerely, John Whalen

Hi Dan,

I hope you're well.

Apologies for not letting you know the package had arrived earlier, the ring arrived whilst I was traveling for work, I hadn't seen the ring and I'm not fond of composing long emails on my phone.

The ring is brilliant! Magnificent. It's a perfect fit which I was a bit nervous about. It involved having to convert from Australian to US sizing and having to go up a size when the ring is wider than 5mm.

In the end it came down to paper and a pencil, other rings and verniers. :)
Thank you also for the piece of the drag chute and the certificate which I think I will frame for my study wall.

I've put pics of the ring up in a few of the Defense news groups at work so hopefully it may lead to some others from Australia buying your items. Hopefully I'm not the first and won't be the last.

Keep up the great work.
Justin Moore.
Melbourne, Australia

Thank you, Dan for this and previous contributions you have made towards getting our story told. Without inputs such as yours it will not be done as each participant in the projects at Groom Lake holds, in most cases, the only knowledge of his part in making the projects a success. We took no notes and didn't talk in those days. The projects at Groom Lake were classified and compartmentalized and shared only with those having a need to know, thus individual participation such as yours is the only way the full legacy of the few projects just now being declassified can be told. Thank you for your participation and we hope to publish many more of your accounts of what happened in utmost secrecy half a century ago.

TD Barnes, Code Name "Thunder"     


In memory of the Secret Heroes of AREA 51
Laser Engraved Blackbird Titanium


I would have put a more glowing response in the feedback section had there been more room. It is people like yourself who are the backbone of this nation and the effort you put in to preserve history of our accomplishments. That memento has more meaning to me as I NEVER was interested in acquiring any until now.

I have been retired from the military and the "Company" for over 30 years now so I guess it is time. Again thank you again for offering this item. I shall pass it down the line. The A12, YFA12 and SR71A were truly great machines and #6972 was very special.

-Col. John A White “Bluemax_11”

Thank you. I really look foward to this special piece. Thank you for your promptness and attention to details. I will certainly recommend your work to others.

Joe Woerman

Dear Dan,
Just got my wrist band and very happy with the results. Again you out did yourself with this design. Is there any special care that I need to know about? Again thank you for your special work for us. Happy 4th of July. Our special pieces of art work will be very special.

Vicki Butcher


Received the rings today… Beautiful.

Regards,  Ed McKim, SR-71 RSO


The ring is a perfect fit and the quality is stunning. It's the absolute best gift I could give an aviator for our wedding. I'm incredibly pleased and I can't wait to recommend you to friends. Thank you so much!

Jess Dempsey

Hi Dan,

Got the ring, fits perfectly, looks awesome as well.

Much appreciated!


Bevan Leedham


The Wristband and Dog Tag were great! Would love the silhouettes!
I’d like to order another wrist band for a friend, this one with the skunk on it.

Semper Fi

Steve Reichert USMC (RET)


My friend loved the stuff! On the way back I lost my wedding ring.
What's the $, and ETA on getting a size 11 ring out to me?



I just received the ring. I can't tell you how pleased I am with it! The craftsmanship is absolutely incredible. It fits perfectly. Absolutely perfectly. I love the finish, I love the darkness of the metal, the polish, the colored interior looks fantastic and the transition is flawless. I simply have no idea how you created it. You must be a wizard from from middle earth. I love the personalized certificate as well. And to top it off it came from #61-7972, I was speechless when I Googled this. Now I have to make sure I don't wear it too much before the wedding.

It is simply the best, most exciting object I have ever received and I can't thank you enough for it!! Your certificate will stay on my wall until old age and the ring will pass to my son (and hopefully grandchild one day) when I die.

When we get married, I'll send you the ring shot!


Jonathan Mott


I received my dog tags. Pretty awesome. Went to the Clothing Sales Store on base today and bought "dog tag silencer"---just a rubber circle that goes around the tags. I put the 2 tags back to back and put them in the silencer and works great to wear them both as one. Still owe you a picture.

Doug Soifer, SR-71 RSO

Hi Dan,
Got everything ok – thanks so much for sending. I also appreciated the patch you threw in, I did some work with those folks in Nevada several years back. A great keepsake to add in to the collection!
-George Van Osterom

Mr. Freeman,

Hello, and happy new year!

My name is Richard Baker. You recently produced my wedding band for Mrs. Megan Cotton. We are getting married tomorrow and I can't tell you how please I am with your product. My family has a rich history in aviation and can really appreciate the uniqueness and history of this piece.

Thanks you so much for your services.  Richard L. Baker

Hi Dan,

I received the ring on Sat and WOW..... It is absolutely gorgeous! My fiancé will be thrilled!! I can't wait to give it to him!

Gina Koch


I received the ring on Saturday.  It looks great.  Thanks!

Eric Zimmerman


This ring is amazing!!! More than I expected. Fits fine on another finger so will just stick to picking up that engraved panel. Thank you so much for this!! And the piece of drag chute, very awesome!! Have to rearrange my desk to find new spots for these treasures.

Andy Fletcher


I just wanted to let you know I received the parcel earlier this week. I am sorry I did not let you know earlier, I have had a crazy work week.

Super pleased with the contents, many thanks indeed.

Trevor Hart

Cheers Dan,

Thanks again, myself and my 2 brothers own a Denny kitfix mk3 so it will get some good air time over Ireland, just a bit lower and slower! 

Thanks, Joe Beirne


Thanks, these are great. She absolutely loved the ring and was totally thrilled! It's perfect.

I'm currently writing an article about the ring you made for my mother. You mentioned that you had some photos of the ring during the manufacturing process. I think you mentioned that you could see the stamp on the ring itself. I'd love to post those along with this article. Could you send those? She loved it, by the way! Thanks again.

Curt Mason

Hi Dan,

I got got the ring last week and it's perfect! The size, shape, and weight are all wonderful, and it's an honor to own such a piece of aviation history. I was even more excited when I saw that it came from aircraft # 61-7972. I was able to take the ring back to the plane it came from last weekend.

Thank you so much for making this possible, I am so lucky that you do this. Thank you as well for the 15th Air Force patch, it goes great with my grandfather's 8th Air Force patch.

All the best, Sam Morgante

Dear Dan,

Lydia will be in bewildered awe.  Well done!

Robert Hand

Hi Dan,

I got the ring in the mail today,  an absolutely amazing job you have done!

The ring fits perfectly and I could not be happier with it.
Now I only have to wait a year and a half to wear it!

It is truly an honor to own 2 bits of the blackbird. (thanks for the bit of drag chute by the way!)

I can't thank you enough for providing this opportunity!

Regards, Cameron Blake

Hi Dan,

WOW!!! Bryan loves his ring. You did a beautiful job on it. When he looked at it for the first time tonight he did a funny combo cry-laugh. It is perfect. Thank you so very much. We could not be more pleased with the ring, the accompanying documents, and your quick service.

Best, Nicole Nuber

Hi Dan,

I got the piece yesterday. I love it! I made a little display stand for it and the parachute remnant. It looks great next to the other stuff, I attached a photo of it.

Thank you again!!
Matt Ellenberger


Hey Dan,

I wanted to let you know that I received the cufflinks today.  They look great!

Thanks again for all of your help.  I'm giving them as a gift next month and I think Jeff will be very excited.

Katie Coffey

Hey Dan,

Just wanted to follow up with you on the cufflinks you made for me.  I gave them to my mentor, Jeff, earlier this month for his birthday.  Both he and his 9 year old son are SR-71 enthusiasts, and Jeff was blown away by the gift.  He thought they were great, and especially loved the story behind where they came from on the aircraft.  I'm hoping one day he will pass them along to his son, they could be become a special heirloom in their family.

I wanted to reach out and say thank you.  The cufflinks were really well received.  Making jewelry from the SR-71 Blackbird is such a neat and unique idea.  Thank you for all of your help.  Jeff is an extremely hard person to buy for, and he was totally thrilled with the cufflinks.

I hope all is well, take care.

Katie Coffey

Dan, A sincere thanks for putting the book up front on the fan page, you have done a great job on all the pages and I hope to get a chance to see you in McMinnville so you can tell me about working Titanium. Best of luck in your enterprises.
Sincerely, Donn
Colonel Donn A. Byrnes, USAF (Retired)
Colonel Byrnes was instrumental from the early days of the Blackbird program, SR-71/YF-12 Test Force.
He was an SR-71 Sensor Test Engineer and Flight Test Engineer

Found your website by accident and thought I would drop you a line to say hello.
I have two titanium pieces from the SR-71 record breaking flight that were given to me by a friend a while back. I have forgotten the exact circumstance of how he got them but something to the effect that when the SR's were decommissioned, he was able to get these pieces.
They are approx 4 feet long by 2 1/2 inches wide with 29 holes down one of the long sides. One side is dull, the other side looks metallic. Any idea from what part of the plane these would have come from? I use to know but have forgotten.
Also, use to be in touch with Ed Yielding but have not talked with him for a while. Talked with Buz Carpenter the other month. Talk with Bob Gilliland every once in a while. Gilliland and dad were test pilots together at Lockheed 63-70.
Thanks, Gary Powers, Jr.

Hello Daniel!

Apologies for not responding sooner - we were in a location where internet was not reliable.

My husband and I opened the rings together, and are delighted with them!  Then we hid them away for Christmas!!!

Many thanks for having this available, and for your work. It is indeed a piece of history, and extremely cool to wear it!

Is there any particular cleaning solvent I should avoid for my out-of-space-blue band?

Many thanks again - you put smiles on the faces of many!!

Renata Delisle

Thanks for the note. Your website is really fun to go through. That's quite a collection of stuff you have there. I see you have some of the old Mach 1 posters there too.
I'd be very interested in seeing what you have from aircraft 960. Perhaps we can make a deal. I'm opening up a full gallery of my photography sometime later this year, here in Marysville and will have some special items around the gallery. I'm including both my nature photography as well as my aviation photos. It's something I've always wanted to do.
I look forward to hearing from you and seeing what you have. I recently was lucky enough to acquire a full 'pie panel' from the leading edge of the wing, in excellent condition.

Keep up the good work, Brian Shul


Brian Shul, Major USAF (RET) SR-71 Pilot
19 April 2009, Beale AFB Flightline, in front of SR-71 Shelters
             Autographing MACH 3 Titanium Collectibles                   Proud owner of a whole SR-71 mission flown part of 61-7960

Good afternoon Dan,
I would like to thank you for taking your time to answer all the questions I had concerning your genuine SR-71 souvenirs. 
I could not be happier with the excellent product or the way you handled my order.  I hope to purchase more items from you again soon.
Have a blessed Christmas!
Mark Hale
Huntington, WV
Mark Hale
Harvest Pro Audio Inc.

G'day Dan,

The package arrived today and I'm left speechless...

The ring is absolutely amazing, full of history and I'm so happy to be wearing a piece of a Blackbird. The craftsmanship is superb I can see why you tell your Blackbird story using your hands, I'm amazed at how uniform the colouring is on the ring. How did you to that???

Also, thank you so much for the extra gift I'm very grateful for that and all you have done over the past few weeks. I'm amazed at the perfect quality of not only the ring but the cut out plan form of the SR-71 aircraft in the Nickle Alloy piece. That piece is going to sit on my tool box starting tomorrow.

I hate to ask more of you but I'm a curious person that likes to learn and just had a few extra questions. The Nickle Alloy piece that you sent that is not a titanium piece so I'm guessing it is from a different part of the exhaust? Also, I was reading on the website about how the titanium gets that colour to it and was wondering if that finish will always remain no matter what chemicals I have my hands in and can it scratch off?

Lastly, I would like to extend an invitation to you to come join our team at the airshow in Sacramento Oct 5-6. Apart from flying in the airshow our team hosts guests each day in a 53' hospitality tractor trailer style set up. If you are interested and have time take a look through some of the pictures on our team web site and it may be something you, your family or friends are interested in attending.

Thank you very much and look forward to hearing back from you.

Regards, Matt Chapman, Crew Chief


Was very nice to meet you and your son last weekend at the airshow and hope that you guys had a great day.
Like I said I would love to get something else made or maybe even a spare ring.

The piece you gave us still is sitting in the back of the Extra and will be staying there, so Blackbirds do fly again...

Matt Chapman


Morning Dan,
Thank you very much for the Ring, it has arrived safety and looks great. Just need to get married now before I can wear it ;)

Its amazing to think I now own a piece of history and I thank you very much for that opportunity.
Chris Saunders


I have been in the program since 1965 as at tanker nav from Little Rock AFB to Chief of Current Ops (9SRW) to Chief Reconnaissance Systems HQ AFSC etc. Bottom Line long time HABU. Sorry that our paths have not crossed in the past, and I wish you well and thank you for your service and dedication to the program. FYI, my wife, Karen, is the artist who created the Mach 3 stained glass for some of the past reunions. She has produced about 9 as of this date and I think that she will not make any more. Some of the owners of the glass are me, C/MSGT Bob Nicoletti (Deceased), M/Gen John Storrie, Col Jim Watkins (patch designer), Col Tom Pugh, Col Don Emmons and three others. Karen has the list I am just the Loggie in the operation and do what I am told. I'm sure that you understand that.

Cheers and all the best. Steve Stenson Col USAF (RET)

The ring and CD with the parts list arrived today. That is some beautiful work you did on the ring. The only clue I can find as to where you joined the two ends of the material is where I don't see the spot welds and you would never guess it is a double layer of metal the way the ring looks. I love it. I have looked through the parts list and found a few more of my parts on there. I am basically down to one unidentified part now. That list will be extremely helpful now and in the future. Thank you for sending me a copy.

Greg Meyer


  I am overwhelmed with the contents you have sent me. I stared in awe at the SR-71 silhouette and the 972 expansion joint. I kept saying to my wife “This is just incredible!” I cannot adequately express my gratitude to you for sharing your talent and artwork with me. These items are one of a kind and for sure are now one of my most prized possessions.
  I thank you Dan for taking the time and effort to reform these titanium pieces into true works of art not only for me but for generations to come. These items are truly one of the highlights of my Blackbird experience.   Leland Haynes

Trophy on display with the unit, commemorating the 1974 Speed Records.

Hi Dan,

We just received the Cufflinks and they look great! Thank you again, this was a really fun surprise.

Jessica Miller

Well Dan,

You've done it again. Made me a very happy camper! I carry my bottle opener with me daily as a good luck piece! Lorrie surprised me on August 10th in Carmel with my fine new wedding ring! As a silk screen artist decades ago I lost my wedding ring at some point since I washed my hands nearly 8 times a day. Sad! But this is the utmost replacement. I worked on 974 for 2 years from '67 and I embrace knowing this ring was from such a successful bird saving America with reconnaissance! Thank you so much! Hope things are going well since I don't see you on FB these days. My next step is to post a FB pic of your fine art! Adios, amigo! :)

George Carrie

Hi Daniel,

The necklace arrived safely. Amazing work!! Thank you.

Best regards,

Jonathan Menetrey

Hi Dan,

Just wanted to drop a line to say we got the rings. They are absolutely beautiful and to have a piece of aviation history just makes it all the more sweeter not to mention an excellent anniversary gift. For Me, the rings are also a reminder of my time spent on the aircraft and being a part of the unit(s) who maintained them.

Mahalo Nui Loa
Danny Ancheta, "HABU" Msgt, USAF (Ret)

The unit arrived in great order.  Thank you so very much Dan!
Mike Wickizer
Wick Telecom LLC
VertiCloud Networks LLC

Good morning Dan,

Finally got to open my package yesterday as I have had a pretty crazy week. Thank you for the awesome ejector filler, I will be taking it today to a friends framing shop with the certificate to see how it can be framed for my office. Also thank you for the dog tag a very nice added bonus. I will send you a photo of it framed when it is completed.

I hope to talk to you soon.

Again thank you.

Howard Steele

The British people loved the SR-71 Blackbird and would stand for hours

just to get an autograph from one of the aircrew members.
"Air Fete 85"

Col Walt Watson, SR-71 RSO / SR-71B, #617956

A Vulcan Bomber over DET 4

Commemorative SR-71 Challenge Coin


I am Wing Commander (Lt Col) Rob Caine in the UK Royal Air Force, and I am a Tornado And Hawk Pilot.  I have recently been working with my friend Ali O'Connor and I spoke with him about buying my brother his wedding ring.  As he always - annoyingly - calls me Top Gun he wanted to have a titanium ring for his wedding.  I did not think that would be possible!  However,  after speaking with Ali and seeing his amazing ring I was wondering if you still have enough material and still provide the ring making service I have seen on your web page? Also how much would the ring be if I get my brother Matt's ring size ?

I look forward to hearing from you - all the best

Rob Caine


I served the SR-71 program as a KC-135Q Tanker Task Force Ops Officer at Kadena from 1979-82 planning and executing refueling missions all over the Pacific and Indian Ocean areas.  On one mission I deployed to Diego Garcia to provide refueling support for a SR that was flown to Diego to exercise the facilities there.  The follow on reconnaissance mission over Iran was never executed.  I also worked 1986-1990 as the SR-71 Operations Planner at Det 4 in Mildenhall.  I and my TDY help were the ground navigators that planned and flight followed the SR missions around Europe, over Northern Africa, the Mediterranean and the Mid-East.  Pretty exciting stuff and I was greatly disappointed when the program was shutdown.

A part from 972 would be neat.  I planned missions or refuelings for all those aircraft.

Thanks so much.  Harold Harting


Please accept my thanks for such wonderfully handcrafted and fascinating piece of history. It's amazing to me that a piece of 972 will continue flying with me around the world - not nearly as fast or as high, but flying nonetheless.

I took some pictures of 972 a few weeks ago at the Udvar-Hazy Center a few weeks ago, and I'd like to share a few of them with you. I've resized them to 500 px wide and 72 dpi for web use, and if you'd like to have full resolution images I'd be delighted to send them to you. Please feel free to use these in any way you please, professionally or personally, with no attribution needed - they are yours.

Hopefully this email will send properly -

Thanks again, Dan!

John Grace


I thought you might enjoy this photo of 'the ring that bit you' taking to the skies once again from Washington Dulles Airport on it's first flight with me, appropriately out of Gate 71:

And the flight path for that flight, AA 1355, 27 July 2014:

Top speed on this flight was 442 knots - about 1500 knots slower than the SR-71. Cruise altitude was 38,000 feet... around 50,000 lower than it was used to. It was a fun ride with good weather and a friendly crew.

Thanks for making this possible!


Hi Dan,

I somehow missed writing you to let you know the ring arrived safely and it looks fabulous.

The fit is perfect as well.

Thanks for doing such a great job on it.

All the best, Tony Landis

Hello Mr. Freeman,

I'm writing you from Italy.
Do you have any titanium SR-71 pieces left for sale?
Some titanium strips or turkey feather pieces, or smaller sections, even with paint, marks, scuffs on them - how much would those costs?
Owing a small piece of Blackbird has been the dream of a lifetime.

Best wishes,

Lorenzo Sellan

Hello Daniel,

I just received my parcel and everything is fine, thank you!

Thank you again and keep up the good work.


Hi Daniel,
My ring showed up today. It fits perfect and I absolutely love it. I feel very fortunate to be able to wear a piece of the Blackbird as my wedding ring. Thank you so much for your wonderful craftsmanship.

Joshua L. Knowlton

Challenge Coins commemorating the 1st operational mission of SR-71A, 617974.

Hi, Dan,

We received the ring today and it's exactly what he wanted. Thank you so much for the incredible craftsmanship, fast turn-around, and preciseness in the order. Additionally, your customer service was wonderful.

Thanks again!

Courtney Parker

Just received the two key chain tools I ordered. The words key chain tool doesn’t do them justice.
You need to come up with a more special name for them . They are really cool.
Can you actually use them as what they are designed for ? I know the metal is strong but we didn’t want to run the risk of
damaging the tool opening a bottle.?
Also I am thinking about having you make me a wedding band out of the edge of space blue material. Do you still have material to do this?
Appreciate your service and your craftsmanship on the mementos you fabricate…..
Roger Storm

SR-71 Titanium MACH 3+ Diamond Patch Display

Thanks Dan. That is my Grail piece.
I've been after a piece of the plane since I was in 1st grade. The Blackbird is a masterpiece. I can't wait to see the tag.
I wish I wasn't broke when you had those bracelets. They were like the remembrance ones for fallen troops.
Is there any project you can think of that can be worn as such? Since you have very little materials left I feel it's my duty to get my hands on as much as possible. Maybe pass them down as heirlooms.

Art Moore

I have so many people drooling over my awesome ring. I hope it brings you more business. What is the alloy of this metal? It must be some sort of nickel-steel-titanium or something. I can only imagine how hot the J-58 exhaust is in full afterburn at mach 3+.

Joshua Knowlton

Laser Display


When I received the dog tags, I briefly thought "I'd kinda like to keep these for myself... Maybe I could get Jim a watch instead." I'll be good and give him the tags as a retirement gift as planned. Thanks,
Gary Gerken

Hi Dan,

The artifact arrived safe and well. It is the coolest thing!
Thank you for everything,

Douglas Kellett

Matching Set of SR-71 Titanium Rings


I just want to say thank you so much for the craftsmanship on my ring. It's pretty much the coolest thing i have ever owned. Everyone asks what is it and I tell them, they cant believe it!

Thank you again - James Carroll


Wow!  Received the ring in yesterday's mail, wasn't expecting it.  Glad I was home. 

The ring is wonderful!  You did a great job crafting it.


Harold Harting


Thank you so much for the ear rings. You have no idea how much I appreciate it!

Christine Dimitry, SR-71 Maintainer.

Dear Dan,

Yesterday I got married to my beautiful wife and we finally get to wear our custom hand made wedding bands that you created and polished for us. The priest who married us also knew of the "Habu" and mentioned it to our audience as a symbol of peace.

Thanks again for the excellent work.

Best Regards

Damien R. Matthews

Dear Mr. Freeman,

My brother-in-law C.J. Miles finally received his pocket tool opener/key chain on Wednesday of this week.  I took a long time finding the right framing for his materials.  Man, he was excited and called and talked for 30 minutes about how surprised, pleased, and excited he is with his gift from you, Stephanie, and I.  I had mentioned to you before that we both worked at Bendix Corp. in South Bend, IN, where the stainless steel fuel system for the J-58 was assembled, tested, and came back for overhauls.  C. J. also spent time on the J-58 program in West Palm Beach at Pratt & Whitney where coordination meetings were held and test cells were operated.  He has some good stories to tell.

He now works at GE in Grand Rapids, MI, which is close to the Kalamazoo Museum and SR-71B #61-7956.  He has been to see that Blackbird too.  So, today he was taking his tool and certificates that you provided to his work to show his friends his good fortune!!!  Another guy you've made very, very happy Dan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thought you might need to know all of this in case you start getting requests for items from the Grand Rapids, Michigan area!!!  The GE plant engineers manufacture electronic flight dash panel instrumentation and bus components for the F-35 JSF and Boeing 787, as well as others.  But, those are the programs I know C.J. is working on right now in the Quality Engineering department.

Finally, I know you are not a jeweler and you state that specifically on the website.  However, I was wondering if you would consider making a cross for me to wear in my role as Pastor, please sir?  I got the idea from the very bottom image you post on the web page.  I could get my own chain for the cross if you would consider honoring my humble request?

Hope to hear back from you soon!!!  And thanks again for the tools and your friendship.

Rev. Gregg A. Presnal

Hi Dan,

ITS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's just the way I wanted it! Thank you so much!!! 
I am not going to wait to give it to him for our anniversary.
Today is his birthday, so I am going to give it to him tonight at dinner. It will be for his birthday and our anniversary. YOU ROCK!

Thank you, Thank you!!!!
Jennii Peterschick

Hi Dan,

We received the ring today and it's exactly what he wanted. Thank you so much for the incredible craftsmanship, fast turn-around, and preciseness in the order. Additionally, your customer service was wonderful.

Thanks again! Courtney Parker

Hello Dan!

 After more than one year I managed to have the perfect occasion to propose to Cristina !!

Have a look here -  Proposal Video

She really liked the ring (we also managed to engrave in it) and we are also interested to create one for me too the same way !

Thanks again, Mario and Cristina


I received the 3+ Diamond Patch display and my wife already has it in our glass Lockheed display case with the models of T-Birds and Starfighters that I used to fly.  There is of course an SR-71 model in there too!
Thank you so much for such a wonderful and beautiful piece of Lockheed history.
Blue Skies, and Tailwinds,
JR Kincaid
Zipper Driver

Hi Dan,

My wristband/bracelet arrived here in the UK today and I'm blown away. It's truly stunning and how you've managed to keep the look of an aircraft part yet add the right amount of hand crafted beauty befitting a bespoke jewellery piece is truly to your credit. You have my sincerest thanks.

Regards, Simon Jakubowski

Hi Daniel,

I just wanted to send an email to say a massive thank you. The ring fits perfectly and I love the natural detailing that has come from its life in active service on one of the most awe inspiring aircraft man has built. 

I love the fact sheet and certificate and being an aviation enthusiast it is definitely the coolest wedding band I have ever seen. Many thanks.

Kind Regards, Olly Lloyd
Marketing Manager,

Creating a signet style ring from a customers design


I would like a dog tag with the SR-71 in the middle, Steven Thomas on top, 1978-1982 on the bottom.

Steven Thomas
MSgt, USAF (ret)
Beale Bandit '78 -'82

I received the shipment and to sum it up in one word...   Totally Friggin' Awesome!
Many thanks my friend.     Steven

I arrived at 19 years old, assigned to 9th OMS, in early '66, and didn't see an aircraft for two or three months. Spent time in Army intelligence classes in the little buildings away from the hangers and so many others I couldn't possibly remember. When the first aircraft began operations, we were one day escorted to some buses, driven to the twin "A" and "B" hangers, and we still had no idea of what we were to be tasked. Escorted past armed guards, and into the closed hanger, and were all just absolutely shocked at the sight. We walked around it while being briefed, followed by likely CIA and/or NASA engineers, and started learning that someone was always watching, checking badges, and looking over our shoulders. Having gone through so many security briefings and instructions on what would be zero tolerance for security clearance loss if any rules were broken. Running my hands down the soft texture of the matte black titanium was, as I've said before, like stroking a thoroughbred champion race horse; which of course we who had the privilege of working on proved to be an apt analogy. Fast, sleek, and rare… resting, but ready to run. And that it did.

Joe Satterwhite, SR-71 "B" Team Maintenance Crew.

Hi Daniel.
Thanks for the speedy reply.
I will be off to the jewellers to get measured at the end of the week.
In case you wondered i live in the UK. I was at Farnborough when the Blackbird flew in from its record breaking flight from New York. I have seen it fly at every public appearance in the UK and some not so public ones as well from Mildenhall.
I have spent a great deal of my life watching it and I feel it will be an honour to own a small part of history.
Thanks for your time, enjoy the holiday.

Regards,  Ashley Bulmer.

The rings finally arrived today.
They are amazing. It is an honour to own two items from such a special aircraft. They fit perfectly.
Thank you again.

Regards, Ashley Bulmer


2 Rings - Both Flat Style.
Ring #1 Size .633-inch (width 1/4")
Ring #2 Size .856-inch (width 5/16")
Both Original Polished Metal Finish.

Note: These rings are a great idea and will be very symbolic for my wife. Her father (Col. William E. Lawson, III-retired) was an SR-71 pilot out at Beale AFB in the 1960s. She often reminisces about hearing sonic booms after he took off. These rings are going to be our 10 year wedding anniversary gifts.

Michael Blake

Hi Dan,

Our rings arrived a few days ago and they are fantastic!  They are extremely comfortable to wear and look great.  My wife and I are privileged to be a part of this important piece of military history.  This is particularly symbolic for my wife whose dad was an SR 71 pilot out at Beale AFB.  We will both wear them proudly.

Thank you,
Michael and Lori Blake

Daniel the bottle opener was received yesterday, that was unbelievably fast. I saw some pictures of it, are the impressions on it machined by you or were they from the original manufacturing process?

Thanks again very much,

Alex Kurth
KC-10 Flight Engineer

SR-71 / Pratt & Whitney J-58 Afterburner
by John Olp, Msgt, USAF (Ret)
HABU Propusion System Supervisor.

GIANT 24" x 36"
Quality Photo Prints
Limited Availability
Introductory price of only $49.99
Contact John at -


I received the ring and it looks awesome.  Thank you for your craftsmanship.  I did not expect the titanium sample from aircraft 960.  That was a great surprise. I have it on my desk at home.  Thanks again for sharing a part of history.

Kevin Gericke

Hi Dan,

I was really impressed with your "Habu" package I received Saturday. Lots of info and a beautiful finished pocket tool. You need to do a step-by-step picture show on the website of you creating these fine products, unless that might be giving away your precious fabricating secrets! I still can’t get over how light the piece is - I compared it to a metal paint can opener and that felt like it weighed a ton. Looking at it in different lighting is amazing, too.

My jaw hit the floor when I also discovered the Turkey Feather piece!

Thanks for you feedback and of course, your beautiful work.

George Carrie, HABU

Dear Sir,

As a member of the UK’s Royal Air Force I have lifelong tie with aviation and can even recall SR-71s flying over the UK when I was a child.

I have just returned from a tour in the USA at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on the JSF Operational Test and Evaluation Team (AFOTEC Det 1) and even lived in Palmdale where the iconic aircraft was assembled! In the 2 years that I was stationed at Edwards I searched for a rare piece of aviation history such as this and with living just behind Lockheed’s Skunk Works hangar, I enjoyed the constant reminder of the aviation history.

If you still have enough material, I would like to purchase a low profile ring without any coloring, just polished, as I would like to keep the material in its original state following the manufacture.

I am getting my right hand ring finger measured on Saturday at a local jeweller here in London and will provide you with the measurements as soon as this is done. I just wanted to enquire now to see if you still had enough material left?

I look forward to hearing from you and doing business with you soon.

Best regards,

Major Alistair Neil O'Connor
Squadron Leader Royal Air Force


The ring arrived today and is a perfect fit.

It looks stunning, thank you.

Alistair O'Connor

4 inch diameter SR-71 Titanium Disc commemorating the last multi-record breaking flight of SR-71A, 617972

Hi Dan,

The items arrived today and they are fantastic!
Thank you very much, I can't tell you how excited I am about them as this stuff is rare over here.
They are beautifully made and will be treasured, destined to become heirlooms as my 10 year old daughter's middle name is Blackbird.

Best wishes and thanks again, Sacha Meaden

Received the ring today Dan.  Thank you, very cool. 
We both work at NASA and he is a big SR-71 and all aircraft and car fan. 
This is right up his alley.  One question.  The little piece of metal that came in the package, what is that?  

Thanks again. Wendy Given

Hi Dan,

We received the rings today! We love them!!! Thank you so much. They are perfect!!!

Linda S.

Smallest made, size 4-1/4


I picked up the ring from the post office today. It's beautifully crafted! And the size is perfect. You do really great work. I'm so glad I found your website and got in touch with you, and will now be able to wear a piece of aviation history for the rest of my life. This ring, in addition to being my wedding ring, will mean a hell of a lot more to me than just any old ring I would've bought at a store. Thank you also for the bonus keepsake! It was a pleasure doing business with you.

-Geoff Sondergard


I wanted to send you this reply back after receiving this SR-71 Dog Tag earlier, but life got in the mix.  EXCELLENT piece of work!  The dog tag and its historical value inspires me each and every day as I wear it to do great things in life and to continue to strive to achieve greatness in everything life has to offer to it's fullest!!! Its an amazing piece of art work you crafted for me.  Thanks a million!!!

Dave G.,  Veteran, 19K30 (Armor, M1A1 Tank Commander) , US Army. 1991 to 2001.



The ring came today. The size and ring are great. Very good job and my wife loves it as well.

Thank you for all the other things. GOD BLESS.


9th SRW, 9th OMS, SR-71 Mechanic, 1967 – 1970

Cool U-2 launch this afternoon
25 Feb 2013


We would like to thank you for all the help you gave us for our wedding.  The ring came out prefect and it a daily reminder of how close to heaven I am.

When I told most of the guys in the wedding party and my friends about my ring, They were floored.  The added certificates made them even more envious.

Also that extra stamp out of the habu was a wonderful bonus.  I decided to gave it to my best man as part of our thank you gift for standing with me. He took it back with him to Japan, where he currently lives and teaches.  So a small piece of a blackbird is again back on Japanese soil

We wanted to know if there is a website or profile you have that we can leave a review on.

My new wife will also want to put one on wedding wire so she can spread the word to other brides.

Do let us know so that we can spread the word how great you are and what a great company you run.

Frank Duncanson 5th

I got the package yesterday. Looks great!!  Question, what is the little bar piece with it?  Just curious…. Stacey wants to make a necklace out of it.  :)
Chris Feld

After talking it over with my fiancé we have both decided that a ring made of SR-71 Titanium would be perfect for my wedding band. If you still have material I would like to order a ring from you:
1)      Rounded style
2)      Size 8
3)      7mm wide
4)      Heat tempered colorized
Let me know if you need any more information.
Thank you so much for making this special ring possible! In the next year I will getting married and graduating with a  degree in aerospace engineering so on a whim I decided to search online for rings made out of former airplane parts. I wasn’t sure what I would find but I definitely did not expect to find ones made out of retired Blackbirds! Your rings look beautiful from the pictures I’ve seen and I can’t wait to look down and know my ring once traveled at Mach 3+. Above all my ring will be special for my commitment to my wife but the ring itself will mean all the more knowing what it was once part of an SR-71. Thanks again for giving aviation fans the chance to own their own piece of the remarkable SR-71.
James Wittig


Received my ring today and you are the MAN. It is perfect in every way.

Thanks for the great service, workmanship, and nostalgia! Will be ordering my wife's ring soon!

Ken McAleer, USAF (Ret)
SR-71 Aerospace Systems Branch Chief.

Received my wife's ring today.  As usual the workmanship is flawless and very beautiful.  Thanks again.

I received the dog tag.  Very nice and the history of the metal used was very interesting also.  My family in El Paso received their rings about an hour ago and are simply in shock.  They love them and the documentation with them.  Thanks for the info and I'm sure I will be talking to you again very soon. 



The ring arrived today and it fits great. Thanks for the discount and quick turnaround!

Mike Ledger, USAF


Got the ring!

Looks fantastic. It is exactly what I wanted!

Thank you for such great workmanship.

Yours, Brian Province


Brent and I received the ring in the mail today!   It is beautifully crafted.

Thank you, Marianne L.

Hi Dan,

I received the ring earlier this week. It looks great. Thanks for the quick service and terrific work.

Regards, Andrew Robinson.

Hi Dan,

They rings arrived yesterday! Thanks heaps, they're great!

I was extra happy to see they came from the record-setter 7972 (I'll be seeing it in the Smithsonian later this year when I'm in the states)

I've got two questions, though:
1) I don't suppose you can tell me if this titanium was ever over the USSR?
2) What caused the component it was made from to be replaced (if you know)?

Again, many thanks, they look very nice!



I just got the ring and it's beautiful. Thank You very much. I like that it came from 972 which is the only one I saw in person.  I like the sr-71 metal piece as well. Which metal is that made out of?

Thank you
Rocco Promutico


I received the ring today along with the SR-71 Nickle alloy cutout.

I  Couldn't be happier with the purchase and the quality of the ring and its accompanying documents. 

Thank you for providing the opportunity to own such a cool piece of history!

Matt Tyler, Engineer, F-35 Flight Test Program, Edwards AFB

The ring arrived today and I could not be more pleased with it as it is superb ! 

I also very much appreciate the documentation and the little surprise bonus that you sent along with the ring that is suitable for framing.
Thank you,
Rob Mott


My dad really enjoys the SR71 piece- best birthday present in years!

Harrison Geron

Dan Freeman,

I would like to order my wedding ring from you.
I want an original polished metal finish with the rounded style ring.
Size-  #9 
6 mm wide.

I'm so thankful I found your site before I am about to be married.
In a few months I am going to commission into the Air Force and become a developmental engineer.
The SR-71 was the main reason I wanted to be an engineer for the Air Force. It has always been my favorite airplane.
My father even had General Joersz as his commander and heard him talk about setting the speed record.
Its always made me excited to join the air force and push the bounds of aircraft.

Anyways, if there is any other information that you need from me I will get it to you as soon as I can.

- Mark Eisenhuth

Cadet Detachment 905 Plans Officer


I picked up my order today and everything is perfect. Thank you so much for everything.

- Mark Eisenhuth

Photo sent in by David Nolte.
 TEOC Cameras were installed in the SR-71, P & Q bays.

David was a TECH REP for the Cameras on the SR-71 & U2 for 41+ years from 1965 to 2006.
Cameras for both platforms were built by a Company called HYCON Mgf. in Monrovia Ca.

Dan, I received the ring today.  It is perfect!

Thank you very much for everything.

William Gilmore


I am a huge fan of the Blackbird. I am getting married at the end of April and would love to have a piece of it on my finger as my wedding ring. I am currently living in New Zealand so not sure if you post to us down here? If you do I would love a few prices on your rings. My size is 11 1/4.

Thanks for your time,

Nathan Maguire

Hi Dan,

The package has arrived and is great fit! Thanks so much for making a piece aviation history into something that I can have with me for the rest of my life.

It is truly an honor, thanks so much.

Nathan Maguire

Thank you for the shipment.  The SR-71 sample arrived today.

My husband will love his birthday gift. He is in love with the Blackbird!

Lisa Ringler

Hi Daniel!

I'm really liking the Low Profile rings. My boyfriend is an Aviation engineer and his favorite plane by far is the SR-71.
I know hes going to absolutely freak over this ring!

I'm hoping to get the rings for his birthday which is in 3 weeks, do you think the order will be completed in time?

Thanks so much!

Emily Tran

Hi Dan,

The goodies showed up yesterday.  Thanks for the great ring and the Dog Tag.

Thanks again for everything.

Dan Schwab

Hi Dan,

I got a key chain from you a while back and Michael just loves it. We are both active duty air force and Michael is stationed at Beale currently. I would like his wedding band to be one yours with the specs below.

Size 10
Original polished metal finish
Rounded / Convex Style


Joanna Weiss

Col Morgan and Maj Gen Joersz holding this Bicentennial Flag that accompanied them after their historic flight.
Beale AFB,   28 July 1976

See this -
Lockheed Video

Just received everything!   Wow, so cool.  How are you able to shape or drill that stuff!  Thank you for the Nickle Alloy Silhouette.
Ryan Sherer, MD

Hello Dan,
     I received your package today.  The Titanium samples are AWESOME!!!  I never expected them to be so nice!  I was blown away by your Certificate of Authenticity!  It is so elaborate and personalized with Dustin's name.  I had expected his name to be scribbled across some generic looking C.O.A.  Yours is Very Professional!  Very well done!  He is going to go NUTS!!!
     Two questions if I may,
1  I have seen all the patches on your certificate of authenticity except for the lower right one that says, "IT WILL BE DONE".  Please tell me where this patch comes from.
2. Did you ever have the opportunity to meet Clarence "Kelly" Johnson?  I have read his life's story and am amazed that a man, who started from such humble beginnings, would go on to develop the airplanes that would win wars and keep the peace.    
Best regards,
     Roger Finch

Hi Dan,
I received the package today and I'm thrilled!
Really lovely craftsmanship, this will be with me to the grave... or passed on if I become a father :)
Thank you for the additional token you included, very kind - so is this a piece from the ejector flap the ring was made from?
I wanted to also ask if the number 617972 is the aircraft ID, as it were? If so is the following accurate as far as you're aware? (I found this online)
(SR-71A / 617972 / #2023 formerly known as “Charlie’s Problem”) because it is a combat veteran, having flown many missions over Viet Nam, from it’s base, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, and being a multiple record holder.
Mark Anson.

Thank you, it arrived today and is perfect.
Mercy Tucker.

Hi Dan,

The ring arrived safe and sound. What a beautiful piece with such a cool back story, thank you very much! Looks great and I love the engraved little skunk.

Thanks again for such a fantastic and enjoyable transaction!

Ken Doyle

Hey Dan,
One last question – yours is a very cool idea, and I was curious how long ago you came up with this idea, and how many of these rings (and the other offerings you have) have you made since you started this – i.e. how many people thought it was cool and have taken you up on this?
I was telling a coworker about this in Atlanta (I travel constantly), and he thought it was crazy cool. So you may have some more business coming.

William Spier.

The ring came today and the whole house was impressed – my wife, five kids and my two daughters’ husbands to be. The two who are engaged already thought yours would make excellent wedding bands. So they may be contacting you shortly.

William Spier.

My father worked in the photo labs at Beale in the early to mid 70s. I know that the flatter profile 3/8 ring would be a better fit for him, with no finish to it. I do have concerns on the size. My mother is currently attempting to get his pinky ring size, but he has very large fingers and I only can hope that you can fit his size. Right now I can only hope that the 13 will fit, but I may need something larger. Also, as I have read a great deal of your site, and much like everyone else there is more to the story. Back at Beale he was on rotation to Oki with, of all people and crews, "Buck" Adams. This was after the flight speed records. He had the time and opportunity to extend an offer that even Buck could not pass on. My father asked if he would autograph a photograph if he got it to him. Also not one to miss on the historical nature of the time, Buck requested 5 photographs. My father only got 1 back, but those four signatures are all there and proudly displayed in his room at home. So as you likely have guessed, anything from that bird would be even more prized by him than any thing else, if there is anything left of the parts from 972.
Ron Burns

I just wanted to send you an email to thank you for the ring and tag. I will be taking it to my mother this weekend. I know this is going to shock him to no end. But I also plan to have some fun at his expense!!!
I will work it out with my mom that the ring will be one of the first things he opens on Christmas. No paper work with it, just in a box.
One of the last things he will open that day will be the certificates to be followed by the tag and chain.
I will be waiting for his phone call.
Thanks again

Hi Dan!

I received the second ring (and bonus pocket knife - thank you!) just now. Of course, it was as beautiful as the other one, but in a different way. I love them both equally!

Anyway I just wanted to thank you again - thanks for your service to our country, and thank you for the craftsmanship on both rings. I will treasure them forever! 

Everyone that I have shown them to has been amazed and impressed. The rings alone are great, but the story behind them - and knowing that they soared at Mach 3 + at 80,000 + is just incredible.

Thanks again Dan - you are the man!

-Mark V



Hi Dan,

The dog tags arrived yesterday.  They are fantastic.

I like how you included some history on the titanium tag as to which aircraft it was associated with.

Thank you, Kenny H


The bracelet came last Thursday and I picked it up at the post office yesterday morning. I love it!! It fits great and it looks awesome. Thank you so very much!!

Wendy P

Hi Dan,

The ring and bracelet arrived.  They are great and look fantastic!  Thanks heaps for the bit of SR-71 chute strapping too.  I can't wait to let people know what the ring is made of. I've loved those planes since being a kid.

Andrew Stevens

Hi Dan,
The ring looks a work of art and is totally amazing, it’s beautiful! To be honest I can’t stop looking at it! The certificate and fact sheet are great, I can’t believe I have a piece of 980!
You did a wonderful job Dan, I really appreciate it.
Best wishes,
Steve W


I was so excited, I made a run to the office just now. The ring is here and it is beautiful!  I can't thank you enough, it is exquisite.

Most importantly, the size is perfect. Please make the other one the same size. If there is an outer piece that shows some of the rivet patterns like in the picture you sent me, that would be tops (I understand that this may not be possible).

Thanks again Dan - today is my birthday and this is perfect timing. Now I can show some of my friends at dinner tonight!

-Mark V

Top quality SR-71 Blackbird prints now available.
"On The Edge Of Night" by the talented artist, Mark Karvon

Invasion of the HABU

Lockheed Advertisement
 23 July 1965

Hot forging was done at Wymann Gordon on the East Coast. 50000 ton forging press, nicknamed the "Major".
After you read this PDF document you will see how tremendously huge this task was.

Under Kelly Johnson's insistence and direction, it was made plain to the Department of Defense that, one day, it would have to invest in heavy, 250,000 ton metal forming presses. When the A-12 / SR-71 series was built, none were available. In fact, those used in it's construction were over fifteen years old and had been confiscated from Germany at the close of World War II, they were 2 each 16,000 ton forging presses. The Soviets confiscated the Germans enormous 33,000 ton press. The Germans had the plans for a 55,000 ton press but, the Soviets confiscated those plans also.

I can certify that the hot forging's used on the Blackbirds are of great considerable strength. I have tried to cut them using a large high speed abrasive chop saw only to destroy the blade. I did however manage to make a tiny groove. It appears that as soon as the forging heats up, the high pressure hot forged titanium "work hardens" itself to the point of indestructibility.

It is said that because of the extreme heating and cooling cycles over its lifetime (aerodynamic heating), each aircraft titanium structure actually became stronger (annealed) every time it flew. The Blackbirds are literally hot airplanes. In sustained supersonic cruise, external skin temperatures vary from a low 450 deg F to a high near 1,100 deg F. The skin reaches it's steady-state temperature about 11 minuets after cruise speed has been stabilized and it takes up to 35 minuets before the primary structure heats up to equilibrium values. Those same times can be expected when cooling down and the ground crews were cautioned not to touch certain areas of the aircraft after it had landed until it was cooled down. The thermal dynamics in maintaining structural temperatures varied greatly depending on the environment such as the inconsistent temperatures at altitude and speed. Two other factors that controlled thermodynamic heating was the high emissivity black paint (Lockheed Coating #144) and the JP-7 jet fuel.

In 1968, the highly specialized tooling used in manufacturing the SR-71 was ordered to be destroyed by then-Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, per contractual obligations at the end of production. Destroying the tooling killed any chance of there being an F-12B, but also limited the SR-71 force to the 32 completed, the final SR-71 order having to be cancelled when the tooling was destroyed.

Dear Dan,
  I wanted to start off by saying thank you for the USAF SR-71 coin, it's beautiful and not many people would appreciate what you've sent me. I do. I'm Going to try and figure out a way to incorporate the thin stick of Ti somewhere on the dash board or safety cage. Def something different:))

As for the two rings. I'm speechless.  Your work is truly unique and I'm thankful to have found you.  Thank you for your time, patience and personal touch. Have a great Christmas and Happy New Year. I will be in touch after the new year to discuss some things. Monday I will send out that package for you. Thank you again Daniel. Really thank you!!!

Joshua Hershkoff
CFO / Owner / Driver
Tweeks Racing Industries
5169-5171 G Street
Chino, CA

SR-71 Speed Record Belt Buckle

The back of the buckle is signed-
Uhl G. Sagraves #23

Dear Mr. Freeman,

I found your website through a link on Leland Haynes's remarkable SR-71 site, and would like to order two wedding rings from you, in the following specifications:

    1.    Size 12, 5/16" width, in the original metal color finish
    2.    Size 5 1/2, 3/16" width, in the original metal color finish
I've been a fan of the SR-71 just about since I was old enough to know what it was. My fiance and I are delighted that you offer the unique opportunity for us to own a piece, however small, of this amazing aircraft. Please let me know if you have any questions about this order. I'll look for your invoice and will be sure to pay it promptly. Thank you so much -- I'm more excited about these wedding bands than I am about my dress!


Sadie O'Deay

Thanks on all counts, Dan! Jeremy and I are really looking forward to our life together. Both of us are past 40 and neither of us has been married before. Guess you could say we waited a long time to find the right person. The same could be said of the rings -- I was not looking forward to the rigmarole of shopping for a wedding band at a jeweler's and have been dragging my feet for almost a year. I feel blessed indeed to have found your website. Owning a ring made from SR-71 materials will be like attaining a small bit of my lost childhood dream of working with the plane's program, and taking it forward into a future with my new family.

Thank you so very much. Take care, and best wishes in all things.


Hello, Dan! Our rings were delivered on Wednesday safe and sound. They fit perfectly and are beautiful; great mementos to have forever of the greatest plane to ever fly.

A thousand thanks for keeping me updated through every step of their making, and for all the wonderful extra information you sent about how the titanium is worked. Thanks also for selecting the part for our rings from #972, which I was too shy to request from the beginning. I love my ring, and am so happy that you've been able to carry your work with SR-71s out to the public in this way. I hope to be able to give you more business in the future!

Best wishes,

Sadie & Jeremy

Hi Dan, 

If you could put Steven Mantegani on one, and Scott Mantegani on the other.  My two sons would love it.
I have purchased other items from you several years ago and you actually handed my sons your card at one of the Beale Airshows a few years back.  I had been wandering around, wish I had met you.  Thanks for the compliments on the pics.  My son created the website and we put alot of effort into all of it.

Steve Mantegani

Mr. Freeman,
    We received the ring and it is just beautiful (and fits perfectly). My fiance is a pilot and I'm an air traffic controller so we are pretty eat up with aviation. Having something made from the SR-71 was just amazing. We noticed that you worked at Beale AFB and so did a member of my fiance's family. His name is Russ Moseley. Anyways, thank you again. It was an absolute pleasure doing business with you!

Ashley Strahan

Hello Dan,

I am interested in your products, and would like some more information .

My father is a retired Skunk works employee and I'd like to give him something with the logo.

Thanks, Steve

Hi Dan,

I gave it to my Dad yesterday and he really enjoyed it.

Thanks Again,

- Steve Ludeking


I received the ring today, It is awesome!

You did a great job on it.

Also the other piece was great too. I wasn't  expecting that.

Thank you!

Tanner Totin


The pocket tool arrived several days ago. I'm quite satisfied!

Thanks again,

Phillip Earles

Hi Dan
I opened my pacakge yesterday, great job.  Rick will be excited to receive the ring.
Thank you
Pam Wright

Hi Dan,

We received the rings today.  They are great!

Yishan Wong

Hey Dan,

I got it yesterday.  Thanks a lot.  It looks great!!!!
And thank you for the exhaust nozzle piece!  That is awesome. 
I'm not a metals guy, I was a crew chief, but was the nozzle portion that thin? 


- Mike Goebel

Hey Dan, how goes it?
Just got the band, and I am JAZZED! It is beautiful, strangely light, and fits perfectly : ) Nice one.

Justin Noreikis

Oct 1974, Air International Magazine
This volume features a great article written by David Anderson the month following SR-71A, 617972 smashing the transatlantic speed record. It is titled -
Reconnoitring at MACH 3

Aloha Dan,We sold our SR-71 Pitot tube so please remove our ad from the fan page when you get a chance.
Thanks again for all your help!!
 Mach on!!
Robin and Adam

This is a photo of the center body and inlet of an A-12 looking forward from inside the nacelle with the engine removed.
The center body is where the spike is mounted.
The raised bumps on the perimeter are called mice and the openings in between them are the by pass door vents.
The AFCS and later the DAFICS computer controlled the spike and by-pass doors to bleed off air and control air flow at the engine.

Axisymmetric Supersonic Variable Geometry Inlets

The conical tip in front of the engines are called the "spike". The spike moves forward and aft within the nacelle opening.
Some people think, that as the spike moves aft the opening gets larger. This is not exactly true.

A simplistic explanation-

What happens is, the very front of the opening gets bigger but the area inside actually gets smaller. The position of the spike controls the position of the super sonic shock wave of air pressure entering the nacelle. The forward by-pass doors help stabilize and maintain the air pressure entering the front of the engine. All the extra air unneeded air is diverted around the compressor section and directly into the afterburner ejector nozzle.
What this does is give higher volumes of air at altitudes where little air exist.

The reason why the SR gets better fuel mileage the faster it goes, is because at those altitudes the air is so thin that there is less drag on the aircraft and the inlets create air pressures at better than sea level.

The technical and engineering aspects of these inlet are vast and most people can't understand exactly how they work. I myself have spent many many hours with my body wedged up inside SR-71 inlets measuring, mapping dimensions, removing, rebuilding, and installing inlet assemblies. I can tell you this, unless I had a need to know, I didn't ask.

Did Skunk Works develop the "Perpetual Motion Machine"? Even thought by this theory one might think this is the ultimate perpetual motion machine, it is not. The SR's speed is limited not by power but by temperature. As speed increases so does the temperature and when these alloys heat up bad things start to happen. They start to expand, warp, and buckle. their characteristics start to change and weaken. The SR crews were not to let inlet temperatures exceed 427 degrees C.

How about a hopped up SR-71 with Nitrous Oxide Injection? Check out NASA's study for the proposed SR-71 as a space vehicle launch platform.
Nitrous Oxide Injection Enhanced SR-71 Blackbird with Back Mounted Hypersonic Research Vehicle

Mr. Freeman,

I received the pieces from 7958 and I'm very happy with them. I am looking to put together more for display purposes and was wondering if your willing to put together three more of the same pieces, one piece titanium and one piece Nickle Alloy. I would like to pick up one more now and two a month until complete, you wrote in a previous email you have pieces from 617960, 617972, 617980. If there are more please let me know, I'm interested in another set from 617972 today, please let me know if this is reasonable and if its possible. Thanks again

Mario Buoniconti

March 22, 2010,
Gen. Paul H. McGillicuddy Commander of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California, takes an orientation flight in a U-2 Dragonlady.
As his aircraft passed directly over my house, the atmospheric conditions produced a beautiful contrail as I snapped these shots.

Hi again Mr. Freeman,  I haven't forgotten about you, just been very busy since the end of October.

I wanted to thank you for doing such a great job on the ring.  Everyone that wanted to see it was really impressed, and from what I heard, someone else wanted to get one for her fiance'. 

Thanks again,
Mike Hudgens, USAF, Flight Engineer, Lockheed, C-130 Hercules

Dear Dan,

I just came home and received mail from you. The only thing I can say is "WOW!!!

I love the piece of the 7958 and I absolutely love the personalized certificate!!!!

This piece will receive a very special place in my collection! THANK YOU SO SO MUCH!!!
Kind Regards,
-Roger Kilchenmann

All I can say is "WOW"!

 I received the bookmark and shard Saturday, along with the certificates / patch. I'm amazed at the light weight and feel of the titanium. You did an outstanding job on the engraving and certificates. After an hour of thinking of ways to show off these collectible pieces of the Blackbird. I decided to go to Michaels Craft store and pick up a 9" x 20" shadow box. With a little glass etching work, I made a frame I feel is worthy of the Blackbird's parts. I included the certificate, the shard from 61-7960 and a picture of Brain Shul and myself at Castle Air Museum in California.

Again, thank you for everything. Keep up the good work, I look forward to meet you someday to talk face to face.
Scott Johnson
Mold Engineer
Oakley Ca 94561


I just wanted to say thank you so much for the wedding ring. You did an outstanding job!!!! Prefect fit and blow me away on the tempered effect.
One day you'll have to tell me how you do that.

I looked for you today at the Beale Air Show but did not get a chance to find you sorry to say. I wanted to talk some about your history as an mechanic
and the work you do as a machinist. Hopefully next time or at another event. I plan on attending the SR-71 weekend at March Air field in Oct.
Thanks for telling me about the show, I had a blast. If you did attend. Did you see that raptor RC plane!!! If only the wife would let me have
one of those.

Anyways, I appreciate the high quality of the work and fast response on the wedding band. Cindy absolutely loves the
way it looks and feels. I'll contact you later and again thanks for everything.

Scott Johnson

Here is a photo of the SR-71's Main Drag Chute. This item can be seen on display at the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona.

Photo sent in by James Stemm, Curator of Collections, Pima Air & Space Museum.

Hi Dan,

  The Ring looks great. Actually, it's very awesome! Fantastic job. I very much like the ring. My fiance is very pleased with it as well. Thank you on a job well done. Means a lot to us both. I am looking forward to the SR-bracelet and titanium piece transaction. Contact you soon, probably next week. All the best.

Kevin Kennedy
Security Supervisor
XTO Energy,  Inc.

Here are two great 14"x11" shots of SR-71A, #617960 during a refueling mission on the way to Diego Garcia, 1979.
Photographer Dennis Oehmsen was with the 9th SRW / Senior Crown for 2 years.

Hi Dan,
My part arrived today and it's perfect!! Seriously buddy I haven't been able to put it down all day. I look forward to placing future orders and thanks again.
Simon Roy

I have always wanted a part of the XB-70 and the SR-71. I have some of the wreckage of the XB-70 and would like to purchase the piece you describe as 6 inch long Titanium Assembly Section - Only $69 (cut and paste is a great tool). Would appreciate the opportunity to get it. If still available.

Bob Erickson

Dan, The piece arrived. Thanks for following up.  Very pleased.  Nice documentation.   Bob

48 inch long, ducted fan, retractable LG, RC Blackbird

I'd like to order a wedding band, please; size 9 1/2. No coloring or anything like that. Can you let me know the price?
 I'm very excited to find you--my father and grandfather were Skunk Works engineers who worked on the SR from its first development to its retirement. My grandfather, Kermit Sandefur, designed the chine bay cameras and my father Mark worked on radar jammers and real-time video uplinking. The plane is practically a member of the family!
 Timothy Sandefur
 Rescue, California

And I got home from Washington, DC last night to find the ring waiting for me. I'm delighted that it's from 980, which my father has always said was his favorite of the planes because it had the least flight time, so it was the "newest" plane.

Thanks again! $

Sent in by Msgt Ed Unwin, 9th FMS Welding Shop, 1981-1988

Hi Dan

I received the package on Friday. I just wanted to tell you that it was more than I expected. The certificate and the brief background data that was provided added that special touch to the purchase. I would rate the experience with my purchase as 5 star. I brought the package to work on Monday and i get nothing but great feedback. Please keep up the great work.

I will be using the SR-71 Aircraft piece on a display that includes a model of the plane along with a print of the Blackbird that i got signed by over 30 Pilots and RSO's at a gathering at the March AFB Museum last year.

Cheers, Mike Massenzo

The Ring showed up today, and just like everyone else I am blown away with it. For one the fit is PERFECT!!!  Also love the Piece of 958, you did a wonderful job of polishing it!!!!
Also appreciate the Nickle Alloy part, do you happen to know what airframe it came from? Its definitely an odd metal, don’t think I've seen much like it, with exception of maybe Inconel.
Your work is Highly Appreciated, and Very Much so Respected !!!

Jim Freiberger

Hi Dan!  Just got home from travel for work and open the new Habu fangs; beautiful!  Thank you so much, my wife commented on how nice they look. And thank you so much for the few “extras” in the package, the post card, magazines, add, and especially the signed picture.  I will admit though I could not make out the signature, just SR-71 RSO.  I will add these unique items to my collection and share with others.  The chop sticks will always be used, and treasured. 


It is a pleasure doing business with you.  Paul

What could be more challenging than to play chase with an SR-71 Blackbird?               

That's what the North American Eagle, Supersonic Land Speed Record Challenger was originally designed for.

The F-104A-10 Starfighter, S/N 56-0763 was built by Kelly Johnson and his Skunk Works team and was used as a chase plane for the newly developed, top secret MACH 3+ Reconnaissance jets.

But now, its wings clipped-
The 13,000 pound, 52,000 horse powered bird has goals of reaching 800 MPH and breaking the existing land speed record of 763 MPH.

Dave Reynolds, a Master CNC Machinist created this SR-71 Titanium.

Dave’s expertise has preserved these rare mission flown parts from SR-71A, #61-7958  “The world’s fastest jet".

This photo shows the SR-71 Simulator

Hi Dan,
My enthusiasm for the SR-71 started at an early age - that's me in the attached photo, at the end of a rainy airshow.
I don't know the exact date of the photo, but the board in front of the SR-71 references the 1st Sept 1974 New York to London speed record, so that may well be 972 during it's two-week visit to England in Sept 1974. I don't think an SR-71 made any other public appearances in the UK until quite a few years later.
That would mean I was aged 7 at the time, which looks about right !
I also remember being at Mildenhall in 1986 when an SR-71 suffered a fuel surge in one engine during its display, and spouted a very impressive flame from the exhaust !

This original and amazing historic 8x10 photo is the Model Blackbird Inlet used during testing at the NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field in northern California. It’s mounted on its test stand inside the wind tunnel. The young NASA Aeronautical Engineering Technician working on it is my uncle Ron Freeman. He started with the NACA in 1958 and worked with NASA until 1965. He says they use to call us "Wind Tunnel Jockey’s". This 9 foot by 7 foot Super Sonic (SST) wind tunnel was used in testing the inlets and nose cone or (Spike). Proper inlet pressures and shock wave position was tested at various angles of attack by pivoting the model on its mount.

Just as described in the book “Skunk Works” by Ben R. Rich and Leo Janos. See chapter nine,

962 As she was meant to be remembered,
Here are three very rare 40 year old photos taken by Ssgt Bob Bragg, in 1968.
MSgt Robert Bragg was in the 456 OMS on two different assignments and from Feb 68 to Oct 69 he crewed KC-135Q #58-117. In 1968, He took these shots of an in-flight refueling mission over the South China Sea when he was TDY to Kadena.
I have search the web for any photos of #64-17962 Article #2013, I have yet to find any of this quality and historical significance.
17962 is well preserved indoors at the Duxford Air Museum in the United Kingdom.

Thirsty Bird!!


"Majestic Reverence"
--Heads Back to Her Element--

Another photo from MSgt Bragg, this one of #976.

Dan, I had this picture when I went to PME course April 2nd to 12th 1990.
I was told that this was the last and only class to pose in front of SR-71 B model.
As you will see it was tail number 981. I was in the back row, 6th from the left.
Kurt Alwardt, 9th Metals Technology, SR-71, U-2/TR-1, KC-135Q, T-38.

These photos of 962 were submitted by Alan Johnson of Cheshire England. Alan has a great web site called--
"BLACK MAGIC" U-2 / SR-71/ RB-57D / A-12 WEB SITE
He is a Member of the --
Dragon Lady Association
Roadrunners Internationale
Blackbird Association, and Supporter of the 4080th SRW.

In 2007, Larry DeCew's (one off) sculpture of an A-12 Rudder holding the CIA Star of Valor was presented to Hall of Fame inductee and A-12 / SR-71 Pilot Ken Collins During the Blackbird Reunion in Sparks, Nevada
See this link--


The Worlds Fastest Mini Bike
Built at
Beale AFB, CA
185 cc Suzuki

4130 CRO MO

5 feet 10 inches
Ported & Polished
Custom Exhaust
Manifold &
Expansion Chamber
Speed Shifter
Gas Struts
Mikuni Carb with Velocity Stack
RPM- 11,000
Top Speed-
MACH 0.108

Here are two Big SR-71 Blackbird Fans, General Chuck Yeager and Jeff Freeman


This bird 971 was looking real good on its return to Beale. Col. Stan Gudmundsun
You can see the Thunderbirds in the background, they really had to put on a show that day, being 971 was getting all the attention. And like always they sure did.
Over a 150,000 people were reported to be on the flight line that day.

I am so thrilled with my purchase that leaving great feedback was the least I could do. I've always been in love with the SR-71 and the chance to own even a small piece is incredible. I've seen it fly many times and been in awe each time. Being able to buy these items seem to connect me to the aircraft in a way that I would never able to do. I have been in the military since 1984 and have worked the F-15, F-16, and now am on the B-2 program but have never been as excited about them. I can't believe that an aircraft as superior as the SR-71 was ever phased out. It's dominance of the sky should make every American proud that we have this jet in our heritage. Thanks for the chance to own part of that!
I will be buying other things over time. Right now, I'm interested in the swizzle stick if it's still available. Please let me know if it is and how to purchase.

Thanks, Bryan


Since the first Boeing KC-135A rolled out of the Renton, Washington assembly line on 18 July 1956, five different variants of Stratotankers have been the mainstay of the Air Force tanker fleet. Three generations of tanker crews sat alert, deployed to remote locations, and supported combat operations around the world.
General Curtis LeMay referred to tanker crews as Strategic Air Command’s "Unsung Heroes," and the men and women who call themselves "Crewdogs" are surely that. Moreover, the KC-135’s extraordinary success has depended upon the skill and dedication of crew chiefs, maintenance and logistics personnel, and the hundreds of other professional specialties who help put KC-135s into the air.

Built to refuel SAC's bomber force on a nuclear strike, KC-135s are classified as a nuclear alert asset and have given fighters, reconnaissance aircraft, and airlifter’s truly global reach. Many versions of the KC-135 have been built including a (Q) model, a modified version) used to refuel the renowned SR-71 Blackbird. The (Q) s’ refueling support allowed the Blackbird to break many speed and altitude world records. Some of these missions helped in settling political disputes that could have led to nuclear war.
Without "anytime, anywhere" air refueling by KC-135s, operations such as arc light and rolling thunder (Vietnam, 1964-1973), Desert Shield and Desert Storm (Kuwait and Iraq, 1990-1991), Allied Force/Noble Anvil (Yugoslavia, 1999), and Iraqi Freedom (Iraq, 2003-present) would not have been possible.

After a half century and 6.5 million flying hours, modernization programs such as quiet, fuel-efficient, and powerful jet engines, structural upgrades, modern flight and fuel management systems, and state-of-the-art global navigation systems keep the KC-135 state of the art.
When "Dix" Loesch and "Tex" Johnston took 55-3118 into the air for the first KC-135 flight on 31 August 1956, they could hardly have imagined that the KC-135 would be flying more than 50 years later.

Got back from Haiti and found the package waiting on me. Awesome stuff and thank you for the added cross. That will certainly find a place around my office.
If I get time to go through some boxes, I will maybe find the pictures of 960 taking off on the morning after the raid to do damage assessment, and then her return as well. If I do, I will scan them in and send them to you.
I was at Mildenhall about from 83-86. My Dad was stationed over there and I was in middle school. I had the opportunity to meet some of the crews on an informal / personal level, people like Brian Shul. He went to church / chapel with us. The Blackbird was a big part of our life over there from morning after we arrived until pretty much when we left.
I remember the first time I saw her. I was waiting for the school bus just outside the base, heard an enormous roar and the black streak in the air as she took out over East Anglia probably on her thrice weekly run to the Baltic or up north of the USSR. I can remember many times sitting out at the end of the hangar where my Dad worked and watching them taxi by, launch or recover. It was fun being that close to something special.
The events of April and May 1986 are stamped into my mind and thus the reason my interest in 960. Brian was speaking to our Sunday school class talking about his experiences in Vietnam and through his life, how he was not supposed to be alive let alone fly the 71. He then quickly had to depart and about 3-4 hours later the rumble and roar of Q’s and then the SR-71 were heard and eventually seen. That was an unusual Sunday flight and there was then no question in our mind that something big was up. We all knew where they were going and what was going on but we never spoke about it of course. Then Monday night came and all the F-111’s took out of LN and KC-10’s launched from Mildenhall. Let’s just say Quadaffi got a midnight surprise. Something I will never ever forget.
May of 1986 is also in my minds eye rather well as that was when the famous Blackbird flameout photo was shot at the Mildenhall Air Fete. That happened right over my head at the Saturday show if I am not mistaken (the Sunday show included the collision / crash of the Meteor / Vampire display team).
Yes, I will show these pieces of history off, and tell the stories I have of the Blackbird. What an awesome piece of machinery. The pieces will be cherished.

Mark A. Houpt
Director of Campus Technology
Lincoln Christian College and Seminary

Hey Dan,

I received the Titanium spar today. What a beautiful piece. I will treasure it. The certificate of authenticity is a nice touch. Thanks again this will look very nice in my private SR museum.

Keep in touch. Larry Decew

Larry Decew's hand made SR-71 Fuel Holder.


The business end of the Pratt & Whitney J58 power plant.

Hi Dan,
Just wanted to let you know that the ring arrived this afternoon, and it is perfect.  Thanks so much for the certificate and photo to go along with this ring.  Our oldest son was here when I opened your package, and he's the family mechanical engineer that designs and builds telecommunication satellites in San Diego.  He took one look at the ring, and said "Yep, sure looks like titanium".

Thanks again,

Mark Loomis

Good Morning Dan!
The chopsticks just arrived, they are fantastic, I love them and finished my breakfast of dry Cheerios with them.
They are just what I was wanting and will use them with pride and appreciation of their source, your efforts to work the "unobtanium" and that they are one of a kind, crafted for me.  I was not sure how the curve would work out, but with this length it fits nicely in the hand and is just perfect.  The case was a nice touch and added piece of unique history.
I really can't thank you enough, these are perfect in so many ways.  As you may have guessed, I use chopsticks a lot, these will supplant my old ones from Okinawa that I carry on a daily basis in my travels.
It is always a pleasure dealing with you; if you ever have a project you want to try out, or any one of a kind Blackbird pieces you want to move on, please be sure to let me know.  I travel almost continuously for my work, let me know if there is anything I can do/pick up for you from around the world, or if I can treat you to dinner when I am in the area.  We have an office in Sacramento, so I am up your way often.  Used to live in Loomis for bit.
Have a great day, and once again, all my thanks,
Paul McLaren

1984 Skunk Works Advertisement

I received the coin and shield today and all I can say is WOW! I just got back from the air and space museum where I saw my first SR-71 in person. Then coming home to have my collectibles waiting for me, it was just great! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Jonathan Schuldt

Hi Dan,
I want to thank you so very much for the AWESOME presentation and the very kind words.
I have already had it framed and it is displayed prominently in my main bookcases in the living room where I keep all my aviation treasures, I am glad you enjoyed A-12. Soon as we get some fresh copies of  Archangel, I'll be sure to send one out to you. That should be in the early new year .

The only A-12 book that I have left is in pretty poor shape, so I don't know if you want it or not, it was my marked up copy.
Let me know if you want it.
Best wishes for a very happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Keep in touch. 
Jeannette Remak


Funny story about titanium: I worked on the A-12 on the Intrepid for 6 years restoring her for the USAF Museum. I was the aircraft historian there. She is up on the flight deck, it gets mighty cold. One day I was up there, we were cutting metal to replace the saw tooth panels after we removed all the old RTV and asbestos. It had to be about 25 degrees up there. I slit my fingers on a sharp edge of the airframe, I  DIDN'T BLEED till I got back down to the shop.When it did start to bleed it was hectic! The guys took me over to St Luke Roosevelt with a roll of paper towels wrapped around my hand. I took a few stitches but never the less, it got seriously infected. The doctor asked what I had cut my hand on and I told him the A-12, what's it made out of, titanium. well long story short I got blood poisoning from the A-12! I love that girl!!! to this day I still have the scars on my fingers!
The XB-70 Valkyrie-The Ride to Valhalla and A-12 Declassified are both out of print but you can get them at Amazon. relatively cheap. We would be happy to sign them. I think I may have an extra copy of A-12. If I have, I'll autograph it and send it to you. The Archangel and the OXCART, is in revision right now and should be available around Christmas. The first edition is out there. Hang on for a bit and wait for the revised edition and I'll sign that for you too.

Now...Bring me that horizon..


I just found your site and enjoyed and appreciate what you have done and are doing, THANX for sharing!!!
I was at BEALE 74-79 and then RAF Mildenhall 79-81...It was 1981 when I was driven to RAF Alconbury in a staff car driven by a lt. Col and offered a job as NCOIC Fuel Systems for the Beddown there with the 'BLACK CATs'. I turned down the offer and believe thats what ended my "BLACK" Career..
I missed the last 'BLACKBIRD' ReUnion in RENO- the first since I retired in 93 due to Health reasons. Pat Hartley [recently passed {cancer}],Earl Wheaton, Jack Barrie and Don White [all Fuel Systems] have been regulars at the ReUnions, John McAleer and Mike Troiano also FUELS have attended a few. Earl and Pat were there to pull me out and revive me from Fuel Tank #3 of AC #979 the nite that I passed out inside the Fuel tank while looking for the source of a FUEL LEAK... It was Mark [SPANKY] Duncan that was in the cockpit and pressurized the FUEL SYSTEM allowing me to pinpoint the leak as I was sprayed in the face and chest with JP7 coming from a leaking Back Pressure Control Valve {BPCV} or 'FOOTBALL' as we knew it! I was told later that it was Earl that got me out of the tank and started chest compressions- as the ranking individual[Tsgt] he took charge and and told SPANKY to have the Line Chief get us an AMBULANCE and Pat Hartley [SSgt] to grab my feet and they carried me outside the shelter to fresh air..
Sorry bout rambling... flood of memories there...!!!

Just wondering if you have any TITANIUM from AC #979 [now at Lackland AFB.???

Again THANX!!

Tom N. Tower [TNT] SMsgt. (RET)

A message from a fellow SR-71 Egress Systems Troop, Ted Blakeley (75-76).

Hi Dan,
YES!!!!  Pam's bracelet and my new wedding band arrived!!!  WE LOVE THEM BOTH!!!  No one could have done a better job.   They arrived on Saturday and the ring is so comfortable that I haven't had it off since.  Dan, I can't thank you enough for having this wonderful service available.  Pam's bracelet fits her great.  And not only do I have a beautiful new wedding band but to part of such a historical bird flown by a number of SUPER GREAT SR crew members, especially JT, the high time man.
I sent a couple of things....I'm sure you'll know someone that will get a kick out the extra I sent.
Ted Blakeley

Hi Dan.

I'm looking for some "experienced" SR-71 bits to incorporate into the Vans RV-7 that I'm currently building, just to keep some "Blackbird" pieces flying.

Since I worked on the SR-71 from 1967-69 as an A/2C at Beale (I was in Electronic Warfare and EMR) I was hoping to find something from either cockpit (a toggle switch, a covered toggle switch, an info plate, a dial switch, really anything) that I can "KEEP FLYING".

Something functional (like a switch) would be best, but I'd even take a nut, bolt, or screw. Some history (like tail number) would be good.

Please let me know what you might have, and what it might cost.

As an aside, I'm also building into my little airplane small containers holding sand from Kill Devil Hill (aka Kitty Hawk) and Normandy, France. You can see that I'm an aviation and military "romantic".

As another aside, and something I suspect that you know, the moniker "Blackbird" was a little late in coming. When we were deployed TDY to Okinawa, we all called the airplane the "Habu", in fact.

Thanks for doing this!

With best regards - - Tom Parker, Carmichael, California

Hi Dan!
I just received the two strips of SR71 titanium: absolutely marvelous!
Do you have three more at the same price? If so, the e-mail address above is the one to send a Paypal request to!
Thanks once again!
David B.

Crossed Swords / Persian Gulf

Once again I am impressed with not only your superb response but your vast knowledge.  I understand a great deal of what you're saying because I'm not only an engineer, but I'm also an aerospace design engineer.  I have not had the pleasure of working on any Military aircraft yet, but I enjoy working with commercial aircraft.  I'm 42 and I work for Spirit Aerosystems in Tulsa OK.  I'm originally from Wichita KS. 
Please send me a PayPal voucher for the plaque and bottle opener.  The bottle opener with the rounded end is it the one with the flight record or the altitude record?

If you lived near me I'd love to meet you and pick your brain over a few beers.
Thank you so much,
Craig Bunck                                                                            




Thank you. My brother in law is a Navy Top Gun flight instructor. He is out flying overseas right now as we speak. I actually was born on Nellis AFB in 1968 when my father was there. I would like to thank you for your years of service to our country.



Wow you are fast! Thank you so much. This will mean the world to Dave.

Dave loves the ring. It is perfect. Thank you for your great service.


EveAnna Manley, President
Manley Laboratories, Inc.


You and Leland are the ones who are providing the greatest contributions by sacrificing/donating your time to develop and maintain awesome websites showing the World how significant these masterpieces are in our history and future... The ingenuity of our nation's engineers, scientists, and aviators and all who surround and support them...
Peace brother... Thanks for the kind words, and certainly keep up the great work! ...3+>

Danno //SIGNED//
Flight Safety Services Corporation


My brother and I would like send our thanks for the rings.  Being able to own a piece of a Blackbird is just fantastic.  Your craftsmanship on the ring is superb, not to mention your speedy service.

Thanks again.
David Sim


Good day, I am writing to inquire the pricing of two items you have listed. First is the Custom Ring made from #974, second is 1-3/4 inch Titanium Coins from SR-71 61-7974 ICHI BAN First Operational Sortie.

I spent almost 20 of my 24 active years in reconnaissance outfits, 544 ARTW, 548 RTG (twice), and 544 SRW. I was one of the processing guys that did the film from Blackbirds and U-2's.


Got to staff Det 1 in 1978 and was actually able to sit in the cockpit of Habu #974 which was parked next to our photo processing vans hanger when I was there.


I also helped make the photo strip maps that they used for SR-71 Recon missions. The guy that trained me told me that when they had some real long missions flying from Okinawa to Vietnam they would put a Playboy centerfold in the strip just to break up the mission stuff. None of the CO’s minded as long as it was just a Playboy centerfold.  


I am definitely interested in at least the ring and I'll get my finger sized at some jewelry store. Almost bought a money clip a few weeks back from another source but then as I read it said it was just made of good titanium, not from a real SR-71 Blackbird. I have been using Paypal off eBay for over 7 years now and think that is great that you can do it that way. So when I order it will be a smooth transaction.


When they were decommissioned it was a sad day in my book. I have a bunch of the key chains, tie tacks, etc that the Lockheed reps sold. But having something made from a Blackbird would be really nice.

Thanks again for keeping parts of the Blackbird around for all of us who knew and loved her.


Mark Mizner MSgt USAF (Ret)

I would like to know pricing of the titanium ring shown on your products page. I'll have the size figured out before I order. Is one available from 972?

Dan thanks.  I can't wait to get it.  My encounter with 972 was back in Sept 1974 at RAF Mildenhall.  From what I can reconstruct, 972 made the speed record from New York City to London and landed at the Farnsborough air show.  When it was to return to the US it flew to RAF Mildenhall to fuel up. I was in 6th grade at the time at RAF Lakenheath out for recess.  I noticed this strange looking black aircraft that appeared to be landing. The school put us on buses and took us on a field trip to see the plane.I remember the crowd and someone was handing out small Blackbird posters. With the advent of the internet, I was able to go back and determine it was 972, track down current location at Dulles Airport and visit her again. I have fond memories and now a memento of the great bird to wear.  Can you tell I am a little excited? 

THANK YOU.....  Ed W.


I was an aircraft tow specialist for all the SR's as well as the B52 and the KC135Q. If it moved on the ground without power I was moving it. 960 is the only one on the list I can remember. Getting old is a bitch. I will have my order in as soon as I receive the PAY PAL invoice. Thanks for providing memorabilia of the greatest aircraft that ever flew. I still remember watching the SR take off and land as well as watching the engine runs at night on the trim pad. Those sites were awesome and hard to explain to someone that never saw it. I have not been in contact with any other Habu's, except when I joined the Blackbird Association (Member No. 1699), since I left Beale in 1978. I cross trained to C130 crew chief and spent the next year on C130's. I miss the SR days. Thanks, Larry Chene

Hi Dan, Greetings from Australia.
My partner recently purchased three bottle openers and a start key (robert norelli) from you.  I know when purchasing off the net it can be hard to get to know someone's personality.  Well with that in mind I would like to first say "Robert is not to buy a whole Blackbird for our front yard"! 
We have just become engaged to be married in March '09.  I selected my ring yesterday, a girley design with ten small diamonds. Only a total of 0.3 carats, but beautiful and sparkly, and this ring is what leads me to you. Rob and I had a discussion about a wedding ring for him, where he informed me he doesn’t like wearing rings. Dan it took my brain about 2 minutes to suggest a ring made from a Blackbird, his smile was instant. 
Dan this is where you come in........ please say you can make a ring, I am fully aware your not a jeweler, and since the Blackbird is made of titanium, fabricating a ring will require the skill of a master machinist like yourself.
If you should accept this mission, I can provide measurements and suggestions for designs, but ultimately the design is up to what you can do and your artistic muse. Dan, I know Rob will wear a ring only if it is truly special. And I believe that a wedding ring fabricated from Blackbird titanium, having flown higher and faster than anything other than our love, will be the perfect ring. The Blushing Bride, Pamela Rose

WOW!!! It is PERFECT, exactly what we had in mind.  LOVE IT LOVE IT. When can we get it? And what do we owe you?  Thank you SOOOOOOOOO much, Pamela

Hi Dan, Perhaps this is a good time for some historical background.
I have had only fleeting opportunities to see the ring you created. Much of this dismay is of my own doing, as Pam's wedding ring arrived before your ring. I refused to allow her to wear it (she does have an engagement ring) and I thereby put her wedding ring into the safe.
Well....when the Blackbirds ring arrived, she showed it to me only long enough to whet my appetite, then into the safe it went. Fair is fair. A week or so later (after her point was made) Pam allowed me to try on the ring for size. Perfect fit!!!
I learned of the Blackbird 10 or 12 years ago, and I have read multiple books on the subject. It is the men and women behind the scenes that impress me the most. I often include photos and factual tidbits in the lectures I deliver. The take-home message is that a technology 50 years old can truly be the best; most advanced technology available assuming that the job was performed properly in the first instance. In the case of the Blackbird, it was.
So back to the ring you created. Its simplicity and fluidity of lines seems to impress all who see it. The story behind the materials results in an even split of incredulity, and disbelief. There is a local jeweler of Aussie opals, who also sells titanium jewelry, who is 'gob-smacked' (as they say here in Oz).
As for the Wirriway display, it is simply my way of saying thank-you for a job well done. In your own special way, you are setting your own altitude and speed records.
Cheers, Mate.


I have a unique request for you. I got a small part of a spar over a year ago, from ebay and have since framed it and it's on my wall, and thought you might be able to help on this next request. I've been working for 8 years on a turbine powered model of the SR-71, and have successfully test flown it. Many people from the full size project have been following along on my progress. I'm now to the point of building my documentation, for both national and international scale competitions, and am looking for a piece of titanium that would have a good representation of the original black paint on it. Could you please contact me, so I could tell you in detail what I'm looking for?
Thanks for your time,

Picked it up yesterday.
The black looks great on the piece, and fits the bill just what I was looking for.  Also thanks for the extra piece as well, that was an unexpected bonus.
I hope to have the show plane ready to take paint by the end of the year, but before that, I'll have to run a few practice pieces through to make sure the paint combination's work out properly to match the piece you sent.
Also, this last weekend, the prototype got loaded in the trailer and is now ready for continued flight testing.
I continue to be impressed with what you an the others did on the program and hope that my small bird can do it a small amount of justice.
Lance Campbell

SR-71 / J-58 Fuel Pump


Dan, A bunch of us from our local airport will go to Kalamazoo Air Zoo to see the SR-71 trainer this week-end.

I can only imagine what it must have been like to see an SR-71 take off/land, or to work on one.  The Blackbird has a big following where I'm taking flying lessons.  We're all amazed at how fast and beautiful these jets are, not to mention how high they flew.

I'll look up Beale AFB to see if there are any photos. Thanks. Yvonne


Thanks for this dedicated website!
I've read about your making of custom jewelry from SR-71 parts, and I'd like to know if you could make a pin that spells out “SLED HEAD” for me.
Please let me know if this is do-able, and, if you would be so kind, I'd like to get a rough idea of how much a one-off item like this will set me back.

I was a Sled Head long before I knew the term existed.   I've been quite interested in that amazing bird since I first heard about her in 1968 or so.  I must've been in junior high when the seemingly 'double-booms' happened, and we all got a huge kick out of the noise---made the windows rattle in that old school building.   We theorized it was 2 jets breaking the proverbial sound barrier close together (what did we know).

A cousin who was a 2-star hinted around as to the source of that unusual 'double.' Eventually, I acquired photos and a bit of info.   Been fascinated with that aircraft ever since.

In the mid 1990s, I was in Iowa for an internship in compounding pharmacy, and I wanted to go to the SAC base near Omaha to see the SR-71 that was supposed to be there in their museum. Turns out the museum was locked up pending the arrival of funds to build the new SAC museum near Aurora, Nebraska. 

Nevertheless I persisted, and eventually I was allowed in to where the SR-71 was stored.  Eeee gads!  It was as though they had her in someone's back yard: she was out in the weather, resting just on her own tires in the hard-packed dirt, with WEEDS growing up around her! Tragic.

Still, it was a heart-stopping thrill to see a Blackbird up close & personal. And, now that I'm a docent at the Seattle Museum of Flight, I get to talk about the Blackbird 'family of aircraft' to other soon-to-be- Sled Heads every week ---yeeee haw!!

Once a year (between Christmas and New Years' Day) we have 'Blackbird Tip-to-Tail Tours' wherein, twice daily, my fellow docents and I competitively take turns giving one-hour (ok, they usually go on for at least TWO hours; but they're officially one hour) tours of this miraculous superemminent aircraft.

How delightful it is to be required to study up on her, and to be quizzed unmercifully about her! So, naturally, I attend (with great enthusiasm) Brian Shul's annual presentations at the Museum of Flight---it's a joy and a pleasure each and every time I have the privilege of hearing him speak!   And I have the pleasure of owning, reading, and enjoying his eye-popping informative books about this stunner of an aircraft. Criminey, I'm running out of superlatives, so will sign off for now.

Dan, those are gorgeous! You talented genius you! BOTH pins are truly beautiful!!   And I'll take 'em both please. Thanks once again for these amazing pins. And thanks, especially, for your (continuing) service to our Country! All the Best to Dan, Katie Wasem, SLED HEAD

Now, about that swizzle stick: of course, I need one! The Turkey Feathers must be displayed. And of course you're right: The Blackbird Program is worthy of far more attention that it gets.   It amazes me every time I give a tour (which always ends with at least 10 to 20 minutes about our MD-21) how many people have never heard of the Blackbirds.  Those who've heard of it are usually amazed (LOVE that deer-in-the-headlights look!) when they hear about overcoming  the seemingly insurmountable problems in the acquisition & construction with titanium; the speed, altitudes, conditions;  the records shattered;  the photos taken; the Astro-inertial Navigation System (ANS); how many missiles were fired at her; how short-sighted our federal government once again proved to be (we always seem to have plenty of cash to support cockamamie ideas for 'the arts,'  public radio, going to Mars, and paying people to not work {why don't we send the able bodied non-working-by-choice people there?};  but I digress);  and that all this was built using no actual computers, but just brains, paper, pencils, & slide rules (no one under 50 remembers slide rules!   young whippersnappers.  hrumph).  


I heard from a long-time docent how the Museum of Flight acquired the very front end of an SR that crashed.  We have it out where people can get in to the front seat and try it on for size (I like to remind folks that, although it feels snug in street clothes, imagine wearing a 'astronaut suit' and sitting there for six hours).    Anyway, he said that, when the delegation was at Lockheed, they were offered a trip to the scrap yard to take anything they wanted!   (Why wasn't I there??  I would've furnished my house).   They took the front end piece, mentioned above, and that was it! Nothing else, clearly, they lacked foresight.

And I've another 'pin' idea, but not sure how do-able it is:  the 'SLED HEAD' engraving or laser on a pin shaped like The Sled.   Whaddaya think?  Dan, this is delightful.   Thanks again, so very much!

Best Regards, Katie

Dear Dan, The swizzle stick arrived and it is fantastic!  Love the "extras!" Thanks so much! Katie


Dan, How much for a key ring bottle opener shipped to the UK. It would make the perfect present for my hubby! (Michael Jones)  Thanks

I received the package today Daniel and its amazing! Thank you so much. The cert is perfect too. I am going to get them both mounted in a boxed frame. It will be the best gift ever.
Thanks again
Take care, Traci

Hello again Dan
I have just had a really good look at the website and it's amazing. I really can't wait to see my hubbies face. He has loved this aircraft for as long as I have known him and long before. I did an oil painting of it for his 40th 4 years ago. He loves that! Getting quite excited. I have to contain myself as this will be such a great surprise-he doesn't know these items exist (as didn't I). Also your involvement is something he would be extremely envious of. Once again thanks you so much
Kind Regards, Traci


Hi, it’s me again. I was wondering if you could do one last piece for me. It would either be a challenge coin, dog tag, or presentation piece like you have been selling on ebay. If you could incorporate a laser etching of something related to the picture attached and the date of 10/27/99. I would be looking at the 75 to 100 dollar range. Let me know what you think and your ideas. Thanks, JD ROY


Dan, I have original blueprints of the cockpit. I also have some really nice pieces (large) still with paint and stenciling on them. Could you take a look and give me your feedback. Thanks for your great website.


Hi Dan I hope this isn't bad manners on my part. Perhaps you recall a fellow named Richard Jones in the USAF at Beale in late 1989 and/or early 1990. He was an engine mechanic and worked at the engine test area, too, apparently helped on some J-58 engine test runs at the end of the Habu program He didn't work on the Habu a/c if I understood his words correctly. He was new on the base and just getting to know the J-58. He is an acquaintance of mine and I met him again a few days ago so we talked about his Beale days. He recalls machine shops a little, says it is possible he knows you so I said I'd send an email. That's it, in short maybe he is on a list or in a photo???? Well, maybe yes and maybe no, but worth a try by me. Hope I'm not sending you on a wild goose chase as many people must have passed through Beale.

Robert, enjoying my key chain bottle opener.

You made me a money clip from a turkey feather several months back ! I need two more for xmas presents to my two sons !
I looked but didn't see them listed in the products listing ? Please e-mail me if they are still available !

I was an E8 with the 5th BW at Travis AFB and came up to assist the 14th AD several times on inspections 1965-1970 ! Great Aircraft !

SMsgt Ron Stanford USAF RET


Hi Dan,
Got the package when I picked up my mail today. Great key chain and GREAT PICTURE!!!!!!!! Thanks for sending it; I will put it up on my wall here in my computer room. It will make a nice addition. That must have been one helluva experience being so close to that bad boy when it was fired up like that! I can only imagine the experience1 I envy you getting to be so close to the Blackbirds all those years! I have only seen them fly twice. Once, when it did the "retirement" flyover at Lockheed Burbank, and again, at the Air Force 50th anniversary Air Show at Edwards AFB. That one was great, they had one on display that you could get up close and personal with on the tarmac next to a pair of F117s (guarded of course). Great show that day! By the way, thought you might be interested in a tidbit I got from a source in the "industry" shall we say? According to him, there are 4 Blackbirds that are still airworthy and operational. I can't really say who he is or how he knows, but he has been involved peripherally with them, and he and a friend in the Skunk Works have knowledge of them. I can only hope the info is accurate, and there is some left flying. It breaks my heart to think that there are no more Blackbirds in the air. They deserve better than that! Anyway, it's just a little info between you and me that I thought you might enjoy. Thanks again for the key chain and the awesome picture! Scott


Dan thanks for your kind words about dad! I really miss him, and this is a great way to honor his memory. I remember as a kid telling me and my brother every Sunday night he would be leaving for the week to go to someplace called "the area". I had no idea where or what it was or what he was doing until 1964 when he finally let on that he had been working on the Blackbird. That’s all he would say about it for quite a while, until they retired it, and even then all he would say to some of my questions was "that’s secret, I can't tell you". What a great airplane, and a great achievement in aviation! I still have his black and white Skunk Works hard hat stored at the house! That is one of my favorite things of his! Adding the money clip will be a very special thing for me! Thanks for your help!

Hello again, I want to find out about getting a money clip from you, and whether or not it can be engraved for me. My dad was a liaison engineer with the Skunk Works and worked at Area 51 on the development of the YF-12A, and I would like a money clip to carry to remember him by. I don't know how big the clip is or how much engraving can be done on one. If you can engrave the clip, I was hoping for something along the lines of; In memory of Joe Sutherland Liaison Engineer Lockheed Skunk Works Project Oxcart 1956-1968 Please let me know about the possibility, as I want to order one of those as well as one of the $39 key chains from you. Thanks in advance for your help. Scott Sutherland


Hi Dan,

I wanted to write to thank you for the phenomenal job you did on the money clip you made for me. It is a great piece and a great tribute to my father! The certificate you sent with it was great too! I will treasure them both. Thank you again for a job well done!!

I also wanted to forward the pictures of my dad’s Skunk Works hardhat he took with him when he retired from Lockheed. It's a little dinged up, but still a great memento of a first rate organization and the incredible aircraft they built. Hope you enjoy them! Thanks again Dan!

Greetings from Cape Town, I really admired the knights cross and shield made from the SR71 in  fab colours. Would it be possible to order a similar duplicate? If so, please advise costs and I will arrange payment on my US bank account. Kind regards LP Ordway


Dan, My wife absolutely loves the ring. She hasn’t taken it off since it arrived. My sincere compliments go to you for your fantastic work. My wife is a jeweler and custom makes jewelry as a hobby. These are her words, (for someone who says he is not a jeweler he sure has ring making down pat,) she said the workmanship was excellent. On a personal note, your items are first class, and I plan to order more to add to my personal "wall of achievements mementos and c.w.r.s. etc what would you charge for a polished sample like the one you sent w/c.o.a. look forward to hearing from you and best wishes for a great day. James Tully GS-12 Test Engineer (ret) det: AFFTC, Boeing, NASA.


I am interested in purchasing 8 Key Chain Bottle Openers. I am currently a T-6 instructor pilot at Laughlin AFB, TX and I will be giving these to my groomsmen (all pilots and/or aviation enthusiasts) at my wedding on 24 May 08. Will it be possible to ship for arrival before 24 May? Thanks. Kevin Belcher


Dan, I got the titanium and pieces today. Nice job on the certificate. I really appreciate the way you personalized it. I can hardly wait to get it framed. Keep up the good work.

I built a 1/48 scale model of the SR-71 back when I was on Okinawa but the years have taken its toll on it. I am planning on building a new one and was thinking of reproducing 974 as a tribute to the last bird lost. Do you still have pieces from her as I may want to buy a piece from you to display on the stand. Mark

Larry Johnson, Larry Decew, BC Thomas


Dan, I spent 3 years in the program, all of them at Det 1 Okinawa. What a great 3 years on a beautiful island working on the coolest airplane on the planet. Looks like you had a pretty sweet gig as well. Lots of stories to tell your grandkids. Have you got enough material to keep creating your works of art/nostalgia for a while or is this going to be a short run. Thanks, Mark


Hi Dan, Where did you get the canopy? Here’s a piece of history, I launched the SR #965 that day and Roy St. Martin was a good friend. I first met him in 1962 when I was with PSD and the U-2 in Del Rio TX. We both moved on the SR in 1965. I went out to the crash site and the biggest piece we could find was the size of a grapefruit. By the way Roy ejected thru the ABs because the bird was tumbling nose to tail thank god his suit protected him but the heat melted the stab chute attached to his seat and he had to deploy his chute early. He was a hell of a pilot. Well enough of my old days with the BIRD by the way has anyone bid on the canopy. Take care, my friend, Bill Miller


Whoo hoo! The items arrived Friday. Thank you!! I am thrilled with them! From info available on the Web, whoa, that's incredible metal.
You get no argument from me. The Blackbird is unique. Given that and its role in history, both in aviation and in service to our country, it doesn't seem right to just scrap leftover materials. The good news is that because of you and other private collectors some will be saved. What you're doing is awesome! Imagine being able to actually own a little piece of those magnificent machines! And thanks to you, common folks like myself, have an opportunity to participate in a small way. Owen L.


Sir, I am interested in purchasing the item noted above from your website. I am especially interested in items with inspection marks or other features. Please let me know if the key chain is still available. can you also tell me what dog tags you might have available with similar markings also. Thanks very much. Steve Knezo


Dan thanks for your reply.  I would like to get the Key chain for $89.  If the one you have has any markings that would be great. If not then that is still great. I am also interested in any more information not on your extremely informative website that would tell me anymore about this special material, its properties and how it was manufactured.  Please send the paypal invoice and I can return funds to you that way.

Thanks and have a great weekend. Stephen J. Knezo Attorney at Law


Larry Johnson


As an old Marine Corps helicopter pilot, one wouldn't think I would be interested in parts from an SR-71. However, when stationed on Okinawa I used to stand on a high hill overlooking Kadena AFB and watch the SR-71 take off on evenings. I was thrilled then to watch this awesome A/C and am now thrilled at the chance of obtaining a piece of this A/C. I would love to have material to make or you make a knife blade, or the pictured scalpel or key chain. Any piece would fit into this old pilot's memories.

Thanks Faustin Wirkus Col USMC (Ret)

Thanks for your prompt answer to my request for info on SR-71 parts.  Also, thanks for your sentiments on my service.  As pilots, we owe you a big thanks for all the work you did on planes we flew.

Reviewing the parts list you provided. I would like to have the 11 inch Titanium assembly piece.  I have ordered a beautiful picture of the SR-71 which along with the assembly piece and printed information, I will have framed in a shadow box type frame.  Along those lines, please provide me with as much information that you can about the part.  IE, where the piece is located on the a/c, Build No of the  a//c  and what type SR-71, etc.
Send along your invoice and I will pay as soon as I receive it.  Thanks again Dan and please remember me if you come across any more great pieces.
Faustin Wirkius, Little Rock


I see a "simple" SR fit onto an oval backing in black and red colors. Is this available? Michael Carnahan(E-4) 9th AMS Photo Shop '68-'71 Thank you


Dan, I need to purchase 1 key chain & 1 dog tag. I am giving these to my nephew and I was hoping to get a certificate or some kind of document on each piece. My nephew is 15 and considered aviation school. He has had a couple of flight experiences, so I know he'd be totally interested in knowing all about SR-71 Blackbirds. Thanks, Mary Doty

Hello Dan,
I am happy to be able to purchase this item. I have a poster of The Libyan Raider, with the picture of 17960 with Brian Shul & Walter Watson Signature on the poster. I have been to 3 open cockpit days at Castle Air Museum and have seen this SR-71. Two of those years I heard Brain Shul speak, very touching. Thank you, Frank W.



I would like to buy a piece of a SR-71 for my father who is a huge fan. I see you have one product with a certificate of authenticity; do you have others like it? Please get back to me I am very interested in what you have. Also was curious on how you obtain this stuff.

After I emailed you yesterday I saw the piece on your home page. It’s the plaque with a piece on it and some wood etching. I would like to purchase something like that. How much would that run me and what is available. Bob Lafvere

SR-71 Titanium Letter Opener

Dan, Got my order today. Thanks for the extra stickers and the Skunk Works sticker. I have given your web site to other people. Hope they order also. I am ordering 3 of the JP-7 displays from Larry DeCew. Thanks again, Thomas G.

Hi Dan, I worked on the U-2 and SR-71 from 1976 until 1982, an egress tech. I'm interested in what you have for sale and the prices of the items. You have a great collection, wish I had the same forethought as you. Of course who knew that such a great aircraft would be retired, a very sad day for me and many others. Thank you, Dan Gunter

Received my package today and all I can say is WOW!!! Thank you so much for the certificate and the laser etched piece from 972 they are just wonderful, I could not ask for anything better. Sure makes me feel good to have a piece of history and to know that we worked on these magnificent aircraft.

Thanks again, Dan Gunter


Friend, the chopper came today and I am most impressed. I used it this evening and it does its job quite well. I credit not only your skill, but also your devotion to the Blackbird program. I will carry the chopper as a piece of my gear while in uniform. Again thanks so much for the cross, and this amazing tool! Blessings & Gratitude from the 101st. Jeff


Here is a B-2 flyover of the SR-71 Shelters at Beale AFB.

This was an answer from Peter Merlin to the skepticism on the authenticity of the items produced on this web site.

Message posted by Peter Merlin on August 18, 2007 at 21:11:14 PST:

"I can tell just from looking at the photos that the pieces are authentic.
I have a great deal of experience with Blackbird parts and materials. This is the real deal.

A certificate of authenticity is just a piece of paper. Anyone can print one.
A collector has to educate himself to know whether the item in question is as advertised.
I can tell you, in this case, that it is."

Peter Merlin is a world renown aviation - "historian / writer / author / archeologist" , A TV documentary personality and expert on experimental aircraft and X-Planes and the AREA 51 Test Faclitiy, fondly known as the X-Hunter.

SR-71 Retirement Speech
Commander and Chief of the Strategic Air Command, General John T. Chain

Ladies and gentleman, most particularly the men and women associated with this great machine that stands on the ramp today. We're here today to retire the Blackbird after 20 years an aircraft that was 20 years ahead of time when it was built and is still unequal by World standards.

The first SR-71 sortie "operational sortie" was flown out of Kadena Air Force base by then, Major Gerry O'Malley on 21 March 1968. We all know General O'Malley continued his outstanding career to become the Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, the Commander of Pacific Air Forces, and the Commander of the Tactical Air Command. Since 1968 the SR-71 has flown 3,551 operational sorties. Only 385 people have flown in the SR-71 at the MACH 3+, an exclusive group of outstanding hand picked people.

The SR-71 has set seven World Class Speed and Altitude records and it did it back in 1976, all of which stand today. The Worlds fastest human at that time who earned that title was SR-71 Colonel Al Joersz, who recently was Wing Commander in SAC and recently promoted to Brigadier General, and is serving in the Pentagon. What's even more amazing about the SR-71 however is that these records set back in 1976 have been equaled or exceeded on every subsequent flight as a matter of routine. 

The SR-71 is a testimony to the talents and the ingenuity of Kelly Johnson and on the platform today, Ben Rich, the designer of the aircrafts engine inlets. The engine inlets are thought to be the heart of Blackbird by those who know the airplane. To the two hundred or so engineers from Lockheed who participated in the design of this great machine. The SR-71 is a symbol of Americas dominance in technology and we thank the men and women of industry, of American industry for your efforts, you have made contributions to the security of our great country well beyond anything your getting credit for. We our nation owes you a great debt. It's fitting that such high honors are being bestowed on the Blackbird today. It is an aircraft that has slipped the surly bonds, and who's crews have reached out and touched the face of God.

Today the Blackbirds have come home and  we're gathered here today to bid them a fond farewell. To the  warriors who have flown and maintained the Blackbird thought the years, you've earned a place in aviation history and the right to be very proud of your accomplishments. You symbolize what is great about America, you are true American Heroes.

Thank you, on behalf of a grateful country. Published the Orders.

Lt. Col. Dan House

Ladies and gentlemen, please stand for the reading of the retirement orders.

Attention to Orders, Certificate of Retirement from the Armed Forces of the  United States of America, To all who shall see these presents, greeting, this is to certify that the SR-71 Blackbird having served the United States of America with honor and distinction was retired from the United States Air Force active inventory on the 26th day of January, 1990. Signed Dick Cheeny, Secretary of Defense, Donald B, Rice, Secretary of the Air Force, General Larry D. Welch, Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

"Color Guard, Fold and Encase the SR-71 Flag"

-NASA was using SR-71 s for research purposes-

When a NASA's SR-71 flew over Arizona and New Mexico Dec. 22 to test components of Motorola's proposed Iridium low-Earth communications satellite system. The Blackbird flights departed NASA's Ames-Dryden Flight Research Facility, Edwards Air Force Base, California, to create operating conditions similar to those the equipment will face when the system becomes operational in 1998. A communications channel for a proposed worldwide cellular telephone satellite system was simulated in the flights, which reached Mach 3 at altitudes as high as 75.000 feet.
Motorola and Lockheed were considering a spacecraft to be launched from the SR-71 as a low-cost method of placing all of the satellites in low-Earth orbit. The program could represent a long-term commitment for the SR-71 and a renewal of P&W J58 overhaul activities. The life of each satellite is five years, and it would take about five years to deploy all 77. The system would be maintained by continuous replacement of satellites.


This was a letter written in support to keeping the SR-71 Program funded in 1996, it was also published in Aviation Week magazine.

As a former pilot, squadron commander and wing commander of the U.S. Air Force's SR-71, I am seeking support for continuing this vitally important aerial reconnaissance program in Fiscal 1997.
Because of the instability in our world, the SR-71 is needed more than ever. Retired prematurely in 1990, Congress provided funds in Fiscal 1995 to reactivate two SR-71s because our intelligence-gathering assets were-and still are-overtaxed, vulnerable and ineffective. Senior commanders in the Persian Gulf War have testified to that deficiency. Replacement systems such as unmanned aerial vehicles have seen major developmental setbacks.
The funding provided this year to upgrade and to fly the SR-71 has hit a roadblock. Until it ends, the deputy Defense secretary has directed that USAF suspend operations of the SR-71, which had just been returned to combat-ready status.
Many in the Pentagon would have you believe the new program cost $100 million a year, when the number averages less than $50 million. An operational myth is that the SR-71 requires extensive tanker support to fly reconnaissance sorties. We sometimes provided support, but that was when we were tasked to fly halfway around the world to reach a target.
Although satellites have a tremendous capability, they also are highly overcommitted, travel a predictable orbit with limited flexibility and suffer constraints on their sensor options. The SR-71, however, can be configured on short notice to meet any special requirement.
In addition, the SR-71 program can support and evaluate Defense Dept. research and development efforts. It has provided a reliable airborne platform for testing against enemy threats. The offensive capabilities of most of our first-line fighters have been tested against the SR-71.
Congress directed the SR-71 reactivation in 1994 to fill a known gap in reconnaissance capability until replacements became operational and reliable. Until that gap is closed, it is prudent to keep the SR-71 operational.
Col. Richard H. Graham (USAF, Ret.) Plano, Tex

Senator John Glenn spoke before Congress on 7 March 1990.
“In view of the high costs of other Air Force programs, the costs of this program and its benefits were both affordable and reasonable. The SR-71 provides coverage on demand with little or no warning to the reconnaissance target. It is a highly flexible system.
The SR-71 is able to penetrate hostile territory with comparatively little vulnerability to attack, unlike other reconnaissance platforms. While opponents of the SR-71 have argued that national technical means are capable of performing the same mission, these systems are far less flexible and survivable than the SR-71.
In retiring the SR-71, the United States has essentially removed itself from the strategic aerial reconnaissance business. Intelligence systems such as the SR-71 are the eyes and ears for our nation's defense and are therefore true force-multipliers. Mr. President, the termination of the SR-71 was a grave mistake and could place our nation at a serious disadvantage in the event of a future crisis:”

Ed Mckim's Blackbird web site

Clocks by Blackbird Association member
"HABU" Sid Segler

A-12 OXCART Reconnaissance Aircraft Documentation
History of the OXCART Program, by Kelly Johnson

History of the OXCART Program, "Archangel", by CIA Historian, David Robarge, 2nd edition

A-12 OXCART Reconnaissance Aircraft Documentation

After 50 years of  aviation history -- This is a must read--

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