Our friend and renowned advertising photographer Blair Bunting has fallen in love with shooting military aviation subjects in his signature style. Recently he shot the F-22 and the F-16 with dramatic results. Now he has added the iconic and sinister looking SR-71 Blackbird to his portfolio, and here are the incredible images.

The Blackbird’s legend has only grown since its retirement in the 1990s. The world remains fascinated with an aircraft that could go faster than any operational aircraft we know of till this very day and was designed in the late 1950s by the now world-famous Lockheed Skunk Works—using slide rulers and drafting boards.


Even its lead designer and Skunk Works boss Kelly Johnson has become a legend in his own right among the science and aeronautical communities. The jet and the team that built it are a symbol of the “don’t tell us it can’t be done” attitude that is so celebrated in our culture today.


Blair’s ominous photos of the Blackbird showcase just how unnatural the jet looked sitting on the ground. There is actually some truth to this as the SR-71 would leak its specialized JP-7 fuel like crazy as it sat on the ground. Once it heated up due to the air’s high-speed friction with its largely titanium skin, the leaks would stop. It just always looked as if it belonged hurtling through the air, or even in space for that matter, going very, very fast over places for which it was not invited.

She was one incredible product of mankind’s creativity.

If you like these photos it is well worth a trip over to Blair’s portfolio site BlairBunting.com where you can see brilliant shots featuring subjects ranging from celebrities to cars.


Contact the author at Tyler@jalopnik.com.