SR71 Blackbird: A New Perspective

April 11, 2019

What is it like to see the inner workings of an SR71 stabilizer? As avgeeks and airplane enthusiasts themselves, the team at MotoArt PlaneTags consider it a thrill. MotoArt is excited not only to show you the Blackbird from a new point of view but also give you the chance to have a piece of it yourself. Get one of our SR-71 Blackbird PlaneTags before they're gone.


Finished SR71 PlaneTag



MotoArt Finds A Blackbird


MotoArt has gotten its hands on several incredible aircraft. From the Gimli Glider to the DC-3 Flagship Tulsa to the first B-1B production bomber ever built. They have had a plane named by the Queen and a jet owned by the President. But they never expected to acquire a plane such as the SR71 Blackbird.


“It doesn’t happen. A super secret spy plane like the SR71 doesn’t show up at the airplane boneyard ready to be scrapped,” says MotoArt owner, Dave Hall. He’s absolutely correct. 32 were made and 12 were lost in accidents, but they of course were not left around for just anyone to find. When it was discovered that a stabilizer from S/N 17967 was available, Hall didn’t think twice.  “There was no question about it. It was like every kid’s dream, having a part of an SR71,”


Dissecting An SR71 Stabilizer


Retired Blackbird parts


Airplane skin marked for cutting


SR71 titanium framework



What is SR-71 Composite Skin Like?


The composite sandwich skin panels were designed to evade radar and withstand extreme heat and the forces of flying at Mach 3. They were also made to be able to replace easily when necessary. The stabilizer was worn and obviously used. The result is an array of beautiful shades, some with paint and other markings. Some still show the honeycomb pattern.


composite honeycomb sandwich skin from SR71


SR71 skin panels


before hand polishing


PlaneTags Are Hand Made


What many people do not realize is that PlaneTags are handmade in MotoArt’s Torrance, CA studio. They are not machine processed on an assembly line or merely stamped out. Each tag was uniformly cut from either an interior or thicker exterior portion of the skin. They are then sanded and polished individually. Although they vary in thickness, color and appearance, they are each examined to make sure they are smooth and uniform. They will all be etched with the image of the plane and its information, and the number in the limited edition.


SR71 PlaneTag before polishing


Blackbird PlaneTags variety


close up of Blackbird PlaneTags



Pilot Gift


The SR71 PlaneTag will come attached to a card with the plane information on it. They are great for displaying in a collection or giving as a pilot gift or anyone who loves this plane. It can also be used as an aviation keychain or collectible luggage tag.


“They just feel great in your hand,” says Hall. “Everyone should have a chance to hold one of these.” 

Exterior PlaneTags

PlaneTags made from exterior skin panels are thicker than the interior skin ones. None will be exactly the same. 


Interior PlaneTags

Want to know more about the SR-71 Blackbird? Get a closer look here.

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