Trapshooters Forum banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,798 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I once read an account of a fly-by of a Blackbird at a location I believe in England, to show it off to a group of cadets. It resulted in the slowest, flight for the SR till they kicked in the afterburners. I believe the thread was titled "How slow will she go". Tried to find it for a friend but so far, no success.

Big Jack
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,994 Posts
I don't know how slow they would go, but how fast and high? No Russian missile ever caught one, and from what I was told they fired missiles at them all the time. An old pilot, I once knew, that flew them (he claimed) told me, they flew thousands of missions over Russia and China. Who knows for sure?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
SR71 and area 51... ;)

Mach 3.9
100000 feet

Early pilots were technically "astronauts" till there were restrictions placed on altitude with an 85000 foot ceiling imposed so as not to raise questions as to why there were more "Astronaut wings" issued than there were "Astronauts."

When fired upon.....they used a "shotgun" approach.(haha) Same technique used to bring down the U2. You don't hear it coming but you can see it.... call down range...Fire both barrels and pray...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,277 Posts
I recall an SR-71 pilot in an interview saying despite the high performance of the plane, it was actually pretty easy to land. With the nose up, it came in on the large delta wings like a surfer. Other tidbits were that the ground crew could not touch the plane for 30 minutes after a high speed flight, else risk burns, and of course the crew could not exit. Their meals were heated by holding them against their windows. Another interesting fact is the engine suction was actually higher than the thrust. The SR-71 not only blasts its way through the skies, it also sucks its way. What's really impressive is when you figure out the speed of the SR-71 and realize it flies faster than a .30-06 bullet. Their pressure suits are the same ones as the shuttle pilots wore. And to think this plane was designed by slide rule, not computer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,798 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Fellas, That was the story..I'm sure he will enjoy it! He tells me he was once on the field when they landed one. Site was secured and no one was permitted near it till it cooled down.

Big Jack
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
From a source way more intelligent than I....Technically, the maximum velocity of a jet engine can be calculated/determined using the inlet cone angle as a limiting factor. An engineer given the opportunity to view the aircraft engine could estimate the maximum velocity of the aircraft....why this bird was always covered. From what I understand, the compression wave generated by the engine cone limits the velocity to the point at which the angle of the cone and the compression wave are equal. In excess of this the compression wave bounces off the aircraft/engine itself and shakes it to bits.... This aircraft leaked fuel at subsonic speed because thermal expansion at supersonic sealed everything up. It wasn't the most structurally durable thing to begin with.

I may be incorrect but based on the cone angle alone, I don't suspect that it was capable of mach 5 using the available propulsion systems of the day. I do know they tweaked out the final top speed using a trickle type afterburner that completely bypassed the compression component of the engine but when you get to speeds like mach 5, the engine would "blow" itself out.. Scramjet tech would permit this but until recently the transition from supersonic to hypersonic speed was not feasible...


I'm no engineer.... I just find this stuff fascinating :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,277 Posts
Max operational speed Mach 3.3.

Max published speed, during flight testing, Mach 3.5.

The inlet cones for the engine are mounted on ram tubes. They can move fore and aft surprisingly fast. Their purpose is to compensate for air density. This is to prevent what is called an "unstart". At Mach 3+ when an unstart happens, that engine no longer provides thrust or suction, and becomes an instant aerodynamic drag. This causes a sudden, severe yaw. Some crews have had cracked helmets from slamming them into their canopies. Eventually refinements were made that greatly reduced the instances of unstarts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
369 Posts
In engineering school one day on the topic of Mother Nature interceding and preempting Human Design he relayed the story behind the design of the SR 71.

He stated that the plane was designed with a polished stainless steel skin....like the u2 and that the tail fins were straight up 12 noon.
On it's maiden flight it came back charcoal black with the tail fins canted inward appx. 1 o'clock and 11 o'clock on the vertical. Lockheed Martin engineers, puzzled and abit shocked quickly restored the plane to as-designed.
Second flight out returned the plane in the same fashion and from that point on the Natural design modifications were formally incorporated into the manufacture of the new planes....errr rockets.

Morals of the story...Don't fool with Mother Nature...and Mother knows Best!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,277 Posts
Speaking of high speed, I read once that the B-58 Hustler had never flown to its max speed, because the skin would melt, despite being a metal-fiberglass honeycomb to insulate from heat.

One of the X-15 rocket planes was flown to Mach 6.7 (4,520 MPH). It never flew again because of heat damage. It was estimated that if the thrust had not cut because the fuel ran out, the plane would have destroyed itself in another minute or two.

I've heard the limiting factor for the SR-71 was the windshield, but have not been able to confirm this.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,725 Posts
I retired from the company that made them. Knew a couple pilots but knew a lot of the engineers who had something to do with it. When it landed it had to be secured until it cooled down primarily because of MANY leaking fluids on the ground. The two pilots that I met were regular Space Cowboys and somewhat crazy. One remains a very close friend of mine now living in Freemont CA. When you get a few beers in him (or other intoxicants) you never know what is going to happen. Thank God I live 2300 miles from him. The maximum performance of the bird was never truthfully revealed and to my knowledge there are two still in operation for various missions mostly recon. If you look into Janes you can find much more info than google. One is on display at the National Air and Space Museum and another at Lockheed in Palmdale and I believe one at Eglin AFB in Florida. Quite the machine.

blade819
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,158 Posts
I was an Air Force Civil Engineering Electrician stationed at Naha Okinawa in 1969 working off hours E crew when we got an urgent call to get to a hanger like right now. Don't know where the mission was but we got an SR 71 in for an inflight problem and he was headed into the only hangar available and the hangar doors went inop. The bird had taxied straight into hangar without stopping and we got in there right after. Don't know what was leaking out of her but it was leaking all over the place. I asked the crew but no one would tell me - as soon as we got the door working they shut the hangar up and all but essential got ushered out. Of course word got around and the next morning every hill on base with a view of the flightline had a crowd. People even brought family from base housing. We all got view of the rollout and the quick launch; and I mean quick - fast, fast take off and as soon as they got rotation that thing was gone - up, up and away. Cool memory.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
817 Posts
If you ever get close to Hutchinson, Kansas, you can stand within feet of one that is on display. Really worth your time to take a look if you are near there.

Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,527 Posts
The SR71 flew into Macdill AFB a few times while I was there and they always got it to a hangar quick. A few years later I was stationed at the Satellite test facility next to Moffett Field when one had to land there. We were accustomed to the ER-2A which is a modified U-2 that was used, well I can't say what it was used for but we were so accustomed to it and how fast it could be out of sight in 10 seconds once it lifted off. I waited to see the SR71 leave and was surprised that it wasn't as fast as the ER-2A but that could have been due to eqpt as it didn't normally land at Moffett fld.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
923 Posts
yakimaman: Same thing happened at Naha in 1967 while I was manning the Air Rescue command center across the runway. As the sun came up the hangar doors opened and out rolled the SR 71. It rolled out of the hangar onto the runway and was gone. Something one had to see to believe. I understand they leaked fuel when they cooled down. Ron
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,277 Posts
Saw the SR71 at the SAC Museum west of Omaha. It's hanging from the ceiling, so you can't get very close to it.


brianinoregon_2008_0303337.jpg

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
684 Posts
Was stationed at Davis Monthan in the late '60s. One of the birds came in on an emergency. I remember looking out of the second story baracks window to see the plane doing a single pass before landing and pouring on the ab's for a quick go around. Only remeber therush feeling knowing it would probably be the only personal experence seeing it in full ab's.

Many years later, was at the Pima Air Museum and by chance, they said it was the first public display of the aircraft. I remember looking into the cockpit and exclaining how old it looked. They had a gathering of pilots, support personell and engeneers from Lockeed at this gathering. It was most memorable to hear the pilots talk of there missions they flew over the sub pens in the Black Sea and also the missions over Viet Nam. One of the pilots talked about an ejection from one. Not from hostle fire. One of the luckiest finds I have ever had. I was reading a book from the Skunk Works at the time and got several autographs. Was a memorable expereince!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,232 Posts
There is one you can actually touch at the Kansas Cosmosphere which is a great trip for anything space related for US or Russia. They also have actual Apollo capsules and lunar landers. The website is www.cosmo.org but for some reason that web site is not working at this second. The SR71 took a special fuel that would not even burn unless it was pre-heated. Also the faster they went the less fuel they used. It had something to do with the heat of the skin of plane.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top