SR-71 Pilot’s Survival Kit

Flying over Soviet-controlled airspace in the coldest part of the Cold War, U.S. recon aircraft (spy plane) pilots carried some interesting gear if needed.

U-2 Pilot Survival Kit including Machete, hunting knife w scabbard, sharpening stone, pliers, file, monocular, insect repellent, compass, whistle, etc (plus other goodies)

U-2 Pilot Survival Kit including Machete, hunting knife w scabbard, sharpening stone, pliers, file, monocular, insect repellent, compass, whistle, etc (plus other goodies)

The kit above, it should be noted, is not complete.

In 1960, sheep-dipped US Air Force Lt. Gary Powers was somewhere that never existed in a plane that wasn’t on the official record.

Francis Gary Powers and a U2. Now that's one tight suit.

Francis Gary Powers and a U2. Now that’s one tight suit.

His plane, the U-2 recon aircraft was shot down over the Ural mountain city of Sverdlovsk in the Soviet Union.  Placed on public trial in Moscow, Powers admitted that his craft was in fact a CIA operated top-secret spy plane. In the trial, the Soviets produced a silenced Hi-Standard model USA-HD caliber .22LR, serial number 120046. The serial number is not listed in High Standard’s books and it has commonly been surmised that it was sold on spec to the CIA for operatives in the 1950s. Others were reportedly made without any markings whatsoever to be ‘sterile’ and thus deniable.

Francis Gary Power's gun, still in a Moscow museum since 1960.

Francis Gary Power’s gun, still in a Moscow museum since 1960.

Then came the SR-71, which, as far as is known, was never shot down on a mission.

One long-standing joke/urban legend was that the SR-71’s survival kit contained: “One forty-five caliber automatic; two boxes of ammunition; four days’ concentrated emergency rations; one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills; one miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible; one hundred dollars in rubles; one hundred dollars in gold; nine packs of chewing gum; one issue of prophylactics; three lipsticks; three pair of nylon stockings.”

Life Hacker did a decent write-up on what one of these kits contained.

SR-71 pilots survival kit

SR-71 pilots survival kit in a museum, as told by Lifehacker

 

Well now TSC Machine Shop is billing their new HKG3K-B Title II (Class III) NFA-registered Heckler and Koch light machine gun build, tongue-in-cheek, as part of the SR-71 kit.

HK G3K-B

If you were lucky enough to land in one piece, one of these would be a heck of an interesting survival guns if lost ‘somewhere over Siberia’.

Now that's what I'm talking about

Now that’s what I’m talking about

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