Skip to Main Content

Palmdale, California: Blackbird Park - Spy Plane Hometown

The park displays an SR-71 high altitude intelligence gathering jet, U2, F-117, and a YF-12, used by the CIA.

25th St. East, Palmdale, CA
Take Highway 14 north from Los Angeles, exit Avenue P, turn right, and travel 4 miles to 25th Street East.
F-Su 11-4. Gated after hours. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About Blackbird Park - Spy Plane Hometown

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Blackbird Park - Spy Plane Hometown

I would like to correct some misinformation in Mark Hrutkay's post from 2008. The second "Blackbird" at Blackbird Park is an A-12, not a YF-12. Lockheed first developed the single seat A-12 for the CIA, and later modified that design into the two seat SR-71 for the USAF. Along the way three experimental YF-12 interceptors were built and tested. The first one was rebuilt as an SR-71C, the third crashed and was lost, while the second is the sole surviving example of the type and resides at the USAF Museum in Dayton, Ohio. The A-12 on display is the very first Blackbird built by Lockheed. I hope this clears up any confusion about what is on display at Blackbird Park.

[Terry Wall, 04/16/2014]
Blackbird Park - Spy Plane Hometown

ALL SR-71s were retired in 1995. They had initially been retired in 1990 (If memory is correct) and 2 were brought back into service for NASA in 1993 or so. They were used for 2 years and then retired. Currently ALL SR-71 type aircraft are accounted for in museums.

There is a comment that two Blackbirds are in the park. YES AND NO. There are 2 airplanes that look like SR-71s in the park; a REAL SR-71 and a YF-12. They are easily confused. The YF-12 basically looks like an SR-71. The YF-12 was developed for the USAF as a long range interceptor (the Phoenix Missile used on the F-14 TomCat was originally developed for the YF-12). There was a combination of events that occurred, the USAF realized it would not be a good interceptor and the CIA realized it would be an awesome spy plane; the USAF dropped it and the CIA picked it up.

This is one of two places in the world where you can see both airplanes on the same field. The other place is in Dayton, OH at the USAF Museum.

[Mark Hrutkay, 01/24/2008]
Blackbird Park - Spy Plane Hometown

The "other" plane on display here is an A-12, an older and even more rare member of the Blackbird family. Also on display is the uber-rare D-21 blackbird drone, a bare SR-71 engine, and the Buick starting cart for the SR-71, as well as several other military aircraft.

The SR-71 is not "technically" retired, as NASA still has a flyable example, kept at Edwards Air Force Base.

[George, 12/22/2007]
Blackbird Park - Spy Plane Hometown

This tiny park features the SR-71, the fastest plane on earth, affectionately known as the Blackbird, and was created by aerospace researchers in this community. The spy plane is now retired by the Government, but its fans continue to be amazed. Once a year, the park allows you to sit at the yoke of this famed plane.

Other aerospace attractions also are there for the exploring -- the A-12, F-105, F-86, all developed locally. Blackbird Park is just across the street from the Palmdale FAA building, where air traffic controllers guide all flights in the Southwest. P.S. no grass can be found at this "park."

[Diane Grooms, 05/26/2002]

There are now two Blackbird spy planes, clearly visible in aerial photos by our spy satellites.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Aircraft Built at Palmdale Plant 42Aircraft Built at Palmdale Plant 42, Palmdale, CA - < 1 mi.
Half-Melted BuildingHalf-Melted Building, Lancaster, CA - 7 mi.
Charlie Brown Farms - Dinosaurs, Meat on a StickCharlie Brown Farms - Dinosaurs, Meat on a Stick, Littlerock, CA - 8 mi.
In the region:
VW Bug Half, Nutty Dummy Passengers, Whittier, CA - 43 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Save Cool Vacation Destinations! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

California Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

The Troll Hole, Alliance, Ohio (Sep 25-Oct 1, 2023)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings