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Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by EvilGenius, Jan 1, 2009.
Does it not have a data tag?
Probably on the side facing down (front)...
So get a mirror!
Yeah, I need to get out there and check it. The data plate is pretty hard to read. Didnt get anything off it...but will try to do some better cleaning and post pics.
Any of you guys impacted by the new merger???
I watched one take off from a T-29 while in training in 1968.
FROM AN SR-71 PILOT.......Very interesting read....
In April 1986,following an attack on American soldiers in a Berlin disco, President Reagan ordered the bombing of Muammar Qaddafi's terrorist camps in Libya
My duty was to fly over Libya , and take photographs recording the damage our F-111's had inflicted.
Qaddafi had established a 'line of death,' a territorial marking across the Gulf of Sidra, swearing to shoot down any intruder, that crossed the boundary.
On the morning of April 15, I rocketed past the line at 2,125 mph.
I was piloting the SR-71 spy plane, the world's fastest jet, accompanied by a Marine Major (Walt), the aircraft's reconnaissance systems officer (RSO).
We had crossed into Libya, and were approaching our final turn over the bleak desert landscape, when Walt informed me, that he was receiving missile launch signals.
I quickly increased our speed, calculating the time it would take for the weapons, most likely SA-2 and SA-4 surface-to-air missiles, capable of Mach 5 - to reach our altitude. I estimated, that we could beat the rocket-powered missiles to the turn, and
stayed our course, betting our lives on the plane's performance.
After several agonizingly long seconds, we made the turn and blasted toward the Mediterranean
'You might want to pull it back,' Walt suggested. It was then that I noticed I still had the throttles full forward.
The plane was flying a mile every 1.6 seconds, well above our Mach 3.2 limit.
It was the fastest we would ever fly.
I pulled the throttles to idle, just south of Sicily ,but we still overran the refueling tanker, awaiting us over Gibraltar
Scores of significant aircraft have been produced in the 100 years of flight, following the achievements of the Wright brothers, which we celebrate in December.
Aircraft such as the Boeing 707, the F-86 Sabre Jet, and the P-51 Mustang, are among the important machines, that have flown our skies.
But the SR-71, also known as the Blackbird, stands alone as a significant contributor to Cold War victory, and as the fastest plane ever, and only 93 Air Force pilots, ever steered the 'sled,' as we called our aircraft.
The SR-71, was the brainchild of Kelly Johnson, the famed Lockheed designer, who created the P-38, the F-104 Starfighter, and the U-2.
After the Soviets shot down Gary Powers U-2 in 1960,Johnson began to develop an aircraft, that would fly three miles higher, and five times faster, than the spy plane,and still be capable of photographing your license plate.
However, flying at 2,000 mph would create intense heat on the aircraft's skin. Lockheed engineers used a titanium alloy, to construct more than 90 percent of the SR-71, creating special tools, and manufacturing procedures to hand-build each of the (40 planes.. (Wow ! ! ! 40 planes???? I thought only 7.) Special heat-resistant fuel, oil, and hydraulic fluids, that would function at 85,000 feet, and higher, also had to be developed.
In 1962, the first Blackbird successfully flew, and in 1966, the same year I graduated from high school, the Air Force began flying operational SR-71 missions.I came to the program in 1983, with a sterling record and a recommendation from my commander, completing the week long interview, and meeting Walt, my partner for the next four years. He would ride four feet behind me, working all the cameras, radios, and electronic jamming equipment.
I joked, that if we were ever captured, he was the spy, and I was just the driver. He told me to keep the pointy end forward. We trained for a year, flying out of Beale AFB in California , Kadena Airbase in Okinawa , and RAF Mildenhall in England
On a typical training mission, we would take off near Sacramento , refuel over Nevada, accelerate into Montana, obtain a high Mach speed over Colorado , turn right over New Mexico, speed across the Los Angeles Basin, run up the West Coast, turn right at Seattle , then return to Beale.
Total flight time:- Two Hours and Forty Minutes.
One day, high above Arizona , we were monitoring the radio traffic, of all the mortal airplanes below us. First, a Cessna pilot asked the air traffic controllers to to check his ground speed. Ninety knots,' ATC replied. A Bonanza soon made the same request.'One-twenty on the ground,' was the reply.
To our surprise, a navy F-18 came over the radio, with a ground speed check. I knew exactly what he was doing. Of course, he had a ground speed indicator in his cockpit, but he wanted to let all the bug-smashers in the valley, know what real speed was, 'Dusty 52, we show you at 620 on the ground,' ATC responded.
The situation was too ripe.
I heard the click of Walt's mike button in the rear seat. In his most innocent voice, Walt startled the controller by asking for a ground speed check from 81,000 feet, clearly above controlled airspace.
In a cool, professional voice, the controller replied,'Aspen 20, I show you at 1,982 knots on the ground.' We did not hear another transmission on that frequency, all the way to the coast.
The Blackbird always showed us something new, each aircraft possessing its own unique personality. In time, we realized we were flying a national treasure.
When we taxied out of our revetments for take-off, people took notice. Traffic congregated near the airfield fences, because everyone wanted to see, and hear the mighty SR-71.
You could not be a part of this program, and not come to love the airplane.
In the first 100 years of manned flight, no aircraft was more remarkable. The Blackbird had outrun nearly 4,000 missiles, not once taking a scratch from enemy fire.
On her final flight, the Blackbird, destined for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum,sped from Los Angeles to Washington in 64 Minutes, averaging 2,145 mph, and setting four speed records.
^^^^^^^^That is so cool! Thanks^^^^^^^^
Skunk works is an awesome book.
Not to be picky but the sixty four minutes, I believe, was first flying out over the pacific ocean (probably with inflight refueling) and winding it up to dash cruise speed then heading to D.C., overflying D.C, then landing. A minor point of little consequence - it's still plenty fast.
I posted in another thread that talked about the Saturn V reverse engineering that was going on. The SR-71 is another example of technology that existed well before its time, and represents the peak of American engineering superiority, which I believe has digressed since the 60's.
Technological progress is still being made, but the level of innovation and ingenuity just does not exist in this country as it did then.
The Blackbird was a craft that by all common sense, should not have been possible, yet they did it.
In all the excitement of the Mosquito being displayed for the last time in New Zealand a lot of people fogot about the Anson
Could this be called a bird strike?
Man, those are cool.
They look like their CG would be all kinds of messed up.
Okay, I've been looking for an hour, what is that song from?