A NASA SR-71 successfully completed its first flight 31 October 1997 as part of the NASA/Rocketdyne/Lockheed Martin Linear Aerospike SR-71 Experiment (LASRE) at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California.
The SR-71 took off at 8:31 a.m. PST. The aircraft flew for one hour and fifty minutes, reaching a maximum speed of Mach 1.2 before landing at Edwards at 10:21 a.m. PST, successfully validating the SR-71/linear aerospike experiment configuration.
The goal of the first flight was to evaluate the aerodynamic characteristics and the handling of the SR-71/linear aerospike experiment configuration. The engine was not fired during the flight.