Welcome to the Roadrunners Internationale news exchange blog. On April 26,1962, Lockheed Test Pilot Lou Schalk eased Article 121 into the cool crisp air of Groom Lake, Nevada. The flight duration was only forty minutes, but aviation history made a great leap that day. Under the direction of Kelly Johnson, Lockheed's famous Skunk Works first A-12 flight set the stage for the revolutionary high speed, high altitude records that followed. The OXCART Program was a joint operation of the CIA, USAF and Lockheed Corporation along with a host of corporations that developed special equipment and programs for the A-12 and YF-12. It took three more years to overcome the problems encountered in developing an aircraft that could consistently fly above 80,000 feet at 3.2 Mach.
From its inception in the spring of 1957 to June 26, 1968, OXCART lasted just over 10 years. Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson were well aware of the intelligence gathering capability of this unique aircraft and its importance to our nation and the world political scene. It was preceded by the U-2 program AQUATONE at the same location and succeeded by the USAF SR-71 program.
The Oxcart Story, by Thomas P. McIninch, is an official CIA history about the successful creation of a reconnaissance aircraft capable of unprecedented speed, altitude and range. As you will see, we have taken direct quotes from the story to document and index our website. We also provide you with direct links to other web sites so you can see the labors of other web masters who have spent years accumulating information on subject matter complimenting ours.
The purpose of this blog is to establish a common point of contact for RI members and friends to enjoy. Our goal is to provide an accurate accounting of the historical events related to the A-12, YF-12 and associated programs plus the early U-2 program. To that end we ask that you look us over. This is your blog, please let us know how we can improve it. If you have a picture or memoir, please share it with all of us. You may publish you comments yourself, however to add photos or links you will need to provide these to the Webmaster for insertion in your comment(s). Please send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to hearing from you.
On behalf of the RI Board -- Cheers,
Thornton D. "TD" Barnes