At the 2017 Top Gun Scale Invitational, there were many amazing aircraft flown by some of the best pilots in the world. One of the standouts on this year’s Paradise Field flightline was an unusual aircraft in the form of a Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird” that was totally scratch-built by first-time Top Gun competitor Lance Campbell of Columbia, Missouri. Lance did an amazing job and earned second place in the Expert class. The Blackbird scored an impressive 99.167 static points, and at the Top Gun awards banquet, Lance also received the Engineering Excellence award, sponsored by Robart Mfg., as well as the Critic’s Choice award, sponsored by Zap Glue and Model Airplane News.
Using Futaba radio gear, Lance flew the SR-71 to a total flight score of 195.709 points. The 85-pound SR-71 is 13 feet long and is powered by a pair of JetCat 140-RXi turbines. After the competition, we had a chance to catch up with Lance to get the inside story on his amazing award-winning and super-smooth-flying Blackbird. Speaking with him it was hard not to feel his passion for this project.
In the October issue of MAN, we have a detailed interview with Lance who spent 9 years designing, building and perfecting his amazing SR-71. There’s lots of behind the scenes information but unfortunately, we did not have enough room for his amazing construction articles.
And since a photo is worth a 1000 words, here they are for all of you to enjoy.
If you’d like to read more about the background Lance’s amazing 9-tear project, here’s his build log for the plane, that spanned years: