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Meet the men who flew the world’s coolest spyplane

Post by Craig Sailor / The News Tribune on Feb. 23, 2012 at 6:03 am with No Comments »
February 22, 2012 12:31 pm

The Museum of Flight always has a full schedule of air and space programs going on (including an upcoming “trip” to Mars). But one event in March caught my eye.

The non-profit museum at Seattle’s Boeing Field will present “Spy Pilot Chronicles” – An Evening with Blackbird Spyplane Crewmembers Brian Shul and Walt Watson on Saturday, March 24 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Shul and Watson will share their experiences flying the USAF SR-71 Blackbird spyplane. The event includes a reception under the Blackbird followed by a presentation and book signing. The reception includes a no-host bar and hosted appetizers.

The Blackbird, built by Lockheed over 50 years ago, still remains arguably the most exotic airplane ever flown. Able to fly at over Mach 3 and at altitudes of 85,000 feet it served as the “eyes” of the intelligence community until satellites rendered them obsolete.

Shul has been speaking at the Museum for 20 years but this program with Watson is new. Shul’s photo/essay book, “Sled Driver,” about the SR-71, was published 20 years ago.

It’s not cheap (Tickets $55/Museum member; $70/non-member) but there are lots of other more reasonably priced events coming up. Check the museum’s website for the full schedule.

The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field half-way between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $17 for adults, $14 for seniors 65 and older, $13 for active military, $9 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available. Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. For general Museum information call 206-764-5720 or visit museumofflight.org.

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