Blackbird Tank Farm Demolished

Photo by SSgt. Robert M. Trujillo

Removal of metal storage tanks at Beale AFB, California, that once held fuel for the SR-71 Blackbird high altitude reconnaissance aircraft, began in July 2013. The five tanks at Beale's fuel terminal held between 400,000 and 657,000 gallons each of the specially designed JP-7 jet fuel. This fuel was developed specifically for the SR-71 and was brought to Beale by railroad cars. The fuel was then pumped through a 4.5 mile-long pipeline to the flightline. The Blackbird consumed approximately 36,000 to 44,000 pounds of fuel per hour of flight. The removal project is a part of the Air Force's 20/20 by 2020 initiative, which aims to reduce excess capacity and operating costs at bases by twenty percent by 2020.

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