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Old 04-17-2008, 10:39 PM   #91
Mr Head
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Back in the day, before I became a "Rocket Scientist" I was an engineer designing laser radar systems. We were tasked to install one in the nose of the SR71 while under the purvue of NASA. For my part of the project I had to deal with some silliness.

First off for the radar to be calibrated correctly we had to know at what altitude it would be tested. Easy right? Well, not so fast... These "people" were somewhat reluctant to tell me exactly how high we would be flying...

We started at 50,000 ft, and got to a bit more than that.

I had to design a system to use the "cold" air provided by the aircraft to remove heat from the laser, so it was pretty damned important to know where we were so I could understand the nature of that "air" I was being given...

Along the way I got some geometry for several options of placement bays throughout the aircraft. Our little garage-band company couldn't convert the files, so I took them home and did it there using a software package from my former company... Nothing is ever wasted.

Speaking of that former company... When I worked there the SR71's were first de-commissioned. One was gutted and sent to a space center for display.
I happened to be there for another function and having been wined and dined a friend and I walked outside for some air, and noticed an un-attended plane. So, six hundred dollar suit, money shoes and all I climbed in. So, now I find it's a fooking A-12
I saw the night sky through the cockpit of that canopy. Yeah it smelled bad, the suit was never the same again. The shoes ruined.

It was worth it.

Years later, I take a long ride to Edwards for an open house and air show. The event opens as I'm riding east along the entrance road with a jet breaking wind as it were. F**king cool!

Then, the topper... They fly the Blackbird. First they taxi and then launch. Then at 80,000 feet they come by at mach 2 so we get a double sonic boom.

Then low and slow figures of eight so we can see that beautiful bird in the air. They didn't fly it the next day. I picked the right day to deal with the heat of the high desert, (over 110F), and man that was a time.

For a good time read, "Skunk Works"

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Old 04-18-2008, 05:08 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Head



For a good time read, "Skunk Works"


Great book!
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Old 04-18-2008, 05:27 AM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TREE
thanks for that, I resized it.




I'm just a dumb Canuck . . . I was in my airforce in 1966. (long story)
Thanks for that I wallpapered it. Great thread.
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Old 04-18-2008, 05:44 AM   #94
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I've touched that very plane.

in Atwater at the Former Castle AFB. and Shit; not to long after that run.

was always my dream plane. growing up when they could still pass mach over CUS we'd hear/feel the Booms at least weekly in th central valley south of Sac.. sometimes shaking the windows and cupboards. I always felt that that was the Blackbirds from Sac.
who knows. very well could've been.
http://idaircraft.com/blackbird_1.html

Quote:
SR-71 tail number 17960 is on display at Castle Air Museum in Atwater, CA.

A photo at the Online Blackbird Museum shows the tail number 17979 on the inside of the left rudder. The rudders may have been switched, or 960 might have worn a different tail number on occasion to confuse spies/spotters.

lat: 37.364101
lon: -120.577612
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:45 AM   #95
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Cool post

Also had the chance to watch the SR-71 land in Dayton for the airshow in the early 80's.

My brother worked for as a Lear pilot for Wright Bros. Aero and we actually had the opportunity to talk to to the Colonel who flew it in. According to him, temperature of the tiny windshield (over 3" thick) was the speed limiting factor.

It was awesome to watch it pass several times before landing. My bro assumed to burn off excess fuel. There was a crew of enlisted men constantly wiping the fuel drips while parked. There was said to be a spec of drips-per-minute when exceeded - was time for fuel cell repair.

Just seeing it is an experience I'll never forget. Only recently did I pitch the T-shirt bought that day. Finally too faded to make out that unique nose-on front view after approximately 25 years.

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CamoGreg screwed with this post 04-18-2008 at 10:19 AM
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Old 04-18-2008, 10:12 AM   #96
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Awesome, just FUCKING AWESOME!

[IMG]Photobucket[/IMG]
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Old 04-18-2008, 10:28 AM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Head
Most of the ti comes from there, but not all...

In the 70's I machined a piece of Ti, three feet tall and 30 " in diameter.

It was in our EDM machine for 18 months.
It weighed about 7,500 pounds.

So you're an EDM guy? Ever do biz with Astro Cut in the SFV?
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Old 04-18-2008, 11:29 AM   #98
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Awesome post!!!

Great writeup!!!

Thank you for your service to our great country!
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Old 04-18-2008, 11:35 AM   #99
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My buddy use to be a crewcheif on SR-71's, he said they go faster than the released Mach3.5, a lot faster......
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Old 04-18-2008, 11:43 AM   #100
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Thanks for posting that TREE, it was a great read.
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Old 04-18-2008, 11:50 AM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoMike
So you're an EDM guy? Ever do biz with Astro Cut in the SFV?
Not anymore, that was back in the day, (circa 1977 I stopped that). Now, I pretend to be a rocket scientist, and they pretend to pay me...

Made some cool junk back then. Now, it's all staring into a tube....

Oh, and I don't know if we ever did anything for Astro Cut.

Some Rockwell and Rocketdyne and folks like that. We even had a Sundstrand job for a bit. I worked for Sundstrand as well. Now, I think everybody is gone.
Nobody seems to want to buy good stuff anymore.

Place I worked for out here moved to Everett Washington to get in bed with Boeing about 1979 or 80. That and get out from under the Republic of California...
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Old 04-18-2008, 12:09 PM   #102
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Sr-71

Excellent write up. Thanks for posting.

Used to be in the Navy as an Intelligence Analyst and did photo interpretation. One of our F-14's once took a infrared shot of 4 SR's parked side by side at Kadena. It was dark and they were still hot from the heat of the daytime sun, so in the IR shot they glowed with the perfect and very unique shape of the blackbird.

It was a totally cool B&W 8X10 that I wound up giving to one of the pilots.

Our pilots would occassionally get a glimpse of one when were were in particularly nasty areas of the world. A glimpse is all you get as they tend to head up to altitude very quickly.

Thanks for the memories.

Regards,

John
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Old 04-18-2008, 12:49 PM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Head
Not anymore, that was back in the day, (circa 1977 I stopped that). Now, I pretend to be a rocket scientist, and they pretend to pay me...

Made some cool junk back then. Now, it's all staring into a tube....

Oh, and I don't know if we ever did anything for Astro Cut.

Some Rockwell and Rocketdyne and folks like that. We even had a Sundstrand job for a bit. I worked for Sundstrand as well. Now, I think everybody is gone.
Nobody seems to want to buy good stuff anymore.

Place I worked for out here moved to Everett Washington to get in bed with Boeing about 1979 or 80. That and get out from under the Republic of California...
Astro Cut actually does a lot of stuff for Boeing, formerly RocketDyne, as well as many other large companies. It's a one man shop, but the stuff he does is mind blowing. I have a picture of me standing next to an exhaust nozzle for the shuttle main engine that was in one of his machines for a couple of months. It wasn't a part that would go into space, but for test engines.

Speaking of large ti parts, I remember reading a book about building the B1. In it were detail photos of the swingwing being assembled. Something like a 300lb ti pin that sat in liquid nitrogen overnight, while the female parts on the fuselage (sp?) and wings were covered with electric blankets for hours before assembly. If you didn't get it right, the pin would seize halfway in and that would basically scrap the entire aircraft

Wish I was smart enough to be a rocket scientist
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Old 04-18-2008, 02:02 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoMike
Wish I was smart enough to be a rocket scientist
Don't have to be smart, just stand in the wrong place and hang aroud the wrong sort of people...
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Old 04-18-2008, 02:07 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Head
Don't have to be smart, just stand in the wrong place and hang aroud the wrong sort of people...

and you should know.

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