Timelapse video has been released of the SR-71 Blackbird being dismantled and put back together again so it can serve as the focal point of a new exhibition.
First flying in 1964, the iconic, supersonic stealth plane hit 2,193.2 mph (Mach 3.3) in 1976, and it remains the world’s fastest and highest flying production aircraft.
Now the 107-foot aircraft has been involved in a much more stately journey however, from the Virginia Aviation Museum to the Science Museum of Virginia on the other side of the town of Richmond.
Before traveling to its new home, the Blackbird had to be disassembled and packaged by experts before being transported in seven major pieces, and then installed and fully-suspended inside the nearly century-old building. Richard Conti, of the Science Museum of Virginia, said:
"Suspending a supersonic jet from the ceiling of a historic train station presents some challenges, however we have a terrific team on board to help display and preserve this iconic artifact for generations to come."
Weighing in at 19.5 tonnes (43,000 pounds) with a wingspan of 55 feet, the Blackbird fits snugly inside the Museum’s main concourse, where it's featured as the key artifact for its Speed exhibition.
Photography: Science Museum of Virginia/ Richmond Time Lapse/ YouTube