By Glenn Pew, Contributing Editor, Video Editor
EBay seller "stevessupercoolstuff" says it's an "original SR-71 Blackbird vertical tail rudder," the "buy it now" price is $1,000,000 (you'd be responsible for shipping and handling), and he or she will accept PayPal. For the asking price, the seller's posting Friday offered one picture and a four-sentence description. Two of those sentences don't describe the item, but the seller is inviting queries via email. The picture shows a fin decorated with a Lockheed Skunkworks insignia and the numbers 17955, which, if authentic, links the part to a specific aircraft and its history.
SR-71s with numbers below 17958 were not used for operational missions, according to the Online Blackbird Museum. According to that source, the aircraft marked 17955 would have been among the first six SR-71As and it would have spent its life as a flight test aircraft operated by the Air Force and Lockheed. The website says that aircraft 17955 was piloted by flight test engineer Donn Byrnes at Edwards Air Force Base for almost its entire career, with the exception of one flight overseas to demonstrate a new radar system. It's not clear from the eBay listing if stevessupercoolstuff is aware of any of that. Other items currently up for auction by the seller include four new lighted crochet hooks. The auction is also accepting offers, presumably of less than $1,000,000, on the tail.