Stan Stokes. In October of 1964, the first Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft was completed and shipped to Palmdale, California. The legendary plane would go on to become the fastest air-breathing, manned aircraft in history. Before it could achieve its thunderous success, however, it needed to be flight-tested, and pilot Robert Gilliland was given the honors. This Signature Edition print pays tribute to that fateful day — December 22, 1964 — when the SR-71 took its first flight. It is pictured here escorted by an F-104 Starfighter. Most excitingly, it comes signed by both the artist and the legendary aviator who piloted that first flight, Robert Gilliland. 16"x 11½".