SR-71 Blackbird pilot among speakers at aerospace museum’s weekly ‘Plane Talks’

SR-71 Blackbird pilot among speakers at aerospace museum’s weekly ‘Plane Talks’

Standard-Examiner staff

HILL AIR FORCE BASE — The speakers for Hill Aerospace Museum‘s September “Plane Talk” series have been announced.

Presenters of the weekly talks are related to the heritage of Hill Air Force Base, the United States Air Force and other military branches, and various aviation sources related to aerospace and the defense industry.

Plane Talks are held at 1 p.m. Saturdays in the auditorium at the Hill Aerospace Museum, 7961 Wardleigh Road, at the base. Admission is free.

The month’s presenters include:

• Sept. 8 — Russ Westcott, retired Air Force pilot

Westcott closed out his 27-year career in the early 1980s as commander of the 6545th Test Group at Hill. He’s logged more than 5,700 hours of flying time — including 453 hours of combat time — in 27 different aircraft, from the B-25 to the F-16. Westcott will talk about the early days of the Air Force from his perspective, and share some of his flying experiences.

• Sept. 15 — Jim Green, former Naval officer and retired airline pilot, United Nations lobbyist, businessman and university professor

Green graduated first in his Navy Aviation Officer Candidate School class and served as regimental commander. He was an aircraft carrier jet attack pilot in the A4 Skyhawk during the Vietnam War era but the war ended just prior to earning his Naval Aviator wings. He then managed military air traffic control in Southeast Asia. He spent 26 years flying as a pilot for Continental/United Airlines. He also spent time as a volunteer U.N. lobbyist, businessman and university professor, and gave a TED-X talk on the possibility of single pilot airline operations in the future.

• Sept. 22 — James Sullivan, SR-71 Blackbird pilot and record-holder

Sullivan spent 29 years in the Air Force, retiring in 1985 as a colonel. He is one of the few Air Force pilots who ever flew the SR-71 Blackbird, logging 900 hours in the craft. Sullivan is also the current world speed record-holder between New York and London, set in 1974. He also spent time in the F-100 and F-105, and was shot down in December 1965 during his first tour in Vietnam, but was flying three days later. Sullivan will primarily address his flight from New York to London in the SR-71.

For more information, visit, or call 801-825-5817.

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