Paul McCartney’s song “Blackbird” is broodingly charming, melodic — a masterpiece.

But, apologies to Macca, in the list of all-time Blackbirds, it most certainly takes a backseat in wonder to the SR-71, a military aerospace engineering feat some argue has not been topped since, and an aircraft that blew out 51 candles Tuesday.

On December 22, 1964, the SR-71 Blackbird made its virgin flight at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California. Lockheed Martin, its creator, posted the following footage of the very event back in 2010, four years before it celebrated a half century of existence.

Wink, wink.

Foxtrot Alpha