Photos show former Blackbird Maintainers cleaning the SR-71 on static display at Beale AFB

A new mission for former Blackbird personnel.

Taken on Jan. 26, 2016 the following interesting pictures feature former Blackbird Maintainers cleaning the SR-71 static display at Beale Air Force Base, California.

The aircraft must be cleaned from the dirt caused by birds, weather, wind and dust; these are all contributing factors that lead to the Blackbird getting an occasional bath.

Master Sgt. Floyd Jones (ret.), who worked on the SR-71 for nearly 20 years, periodically  spot clean the aircraft alongside a local group of former Blackbird Maintainers

“It’s a rare plane, we have to take care of it for future generations to cherish,” Jones says.

Noteworthy, Beale retired the last SR-71 on Jan. 26, 1990: the Blackbird was an advanced, long-range, supersonic strategic reconnaissance aircraft that called Beale Air Force Base home from Jan. 1966 to Jan. 1990.

Of the 32 Blackbirds built, none was ever lost to enemy action.

Beale SR-71

Image credit: U.S. Air Force