- 5 March 2009
- Reaction score
These are titanium parts from the Lockheed A-12 airplane of WALT RAY (tail number 60-6928) which was lost in a crash on January 5, 1967, during a training flight.
They are beautiful parts with the typical smokey color of the Ti-13V-11Cr-3A1 alloy used on the A-12 spyplane. Shown above right next to my new Stratosphere Models 1-48th scale resin kit of the D-21 drone, for size comparison.
There are three different thicknesses of titanium sheet among them. The thickest one appears to be a leading edge or a trailing edge. It is about 2mm thick and it is very heavy, it is covered with “ironball” black paint. On the reverse side you find very fine honeycomb also made of titanium. It must have been quite a job to make this titanium honeycomb, it was the first time i saw honeycomb so fine made of such a material dating back to the early 1960`s, they had to first solder thin corrugated strips of titanium to one another before soldering it to the metal panel itself. Three of the other parts are about 1mm thick and a fifth one is .010” inches, about the thickness of a soda can (that made for very thin titanium skin panels...!), this latest one also covered with black paint. It’s interesting to see on the part that was spot welded that the welds were so strong they held on while the 2nd titanium sheet was torn away by the impact.
They were retrieved from the desert crash site, located about 70 miles away from Groom Lake (and finding the exact area is really NOT easy). Most of the area’s been combed now, (first by the Air Force, who removed the wreck and most of the loose parts, and then over 30 years later by 3 or 4 teams of wreck hunters who removed what little parts were forgotten on the site by the AF) and it would be very unlikely anyone would find anymore parts. They are very very rare collector pieces, as there is no more than a handful of people from the general public; or just over a handful maybe; who own parts from that particular aircraft (928). They are part of my personal collection.
I am thinking about selling them for 1975.00$ US. Serious collectors who are interested can contact me at the email adress below. They are a unique occasion that may never show up again.
Photos copyright Stratosphere Models.