Colonel Richard Graham wows his audience at IWM Duxford
Former SR-71 Blackbird pilot Colonel Richard Graham made a welcome return to IWM Duxford today Sunday 11 March.
A very popular speaker at IWM Duxford, Colonel Graham chatted to his audiences about the once top-secret SR-71 Blackbird programme. At 11am, he gave a talk in the Marshall Auditorium, where he gave an overview of the SR-71 Blackbird programme and answered visitors' burning questions about this iconic aircraft.
At 2pm Colonel Graham hosted a walk-around tour of the SR-71 Blackbird, discussing the technical aspects of the aircraft that he previously flew at RAF Mildenhall, which now sits in pride of place on display at the American Air Museum. Following the tour, there was an opportunity for Colonel Graham to sign copies of his books and to take further questions from an eager audience.
The SR-71 Blackbird is regarded as one of the United States Air Force's most important Cold War-era aircraft. It was classified as top secret for most of its operational life, flying covert missions from RAF Mildenhall from the mid-1970s onwards. The aircraft played an important role in military conflicts for nearly thirty years, being superceded only when spy satellites came into operation.
Colonel Graham's involvement with the Blackbird continued until his retirement from the United States Air Force in 1989 as a highly-decorated pilot with more than 4,000 hours of military flying experience.
It is hoped that Colonel Graham will return to IWM Duxford later this year to give another fascinating talk.