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Thread: Guy visits all SR-71 Blackbird planes - photos

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    Jon
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    Guy visits all SR-71 Blackbird planes - photos


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    Supporting Member Karl_H's Avatar
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    Funny story by a SR-71 pilot - 5 minutes that you will replay for your friends!
    https://digg.com/video/la-speed-check-blackbird-story

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    I once picked up a crated military load at White Sands, then was given a schedule and route to explicitly follow to haul it to the Skunkworks in Cal. An unmentioned black Suburban with black tinted windows followed me the entire trip. One of the crates wasn't nailed all that good and a top corner gradually started working open and I was getting pretty nervous about it but I wasn't about to stop and take a look at it. When I arrived they directed me to a portion of the airbase apron to unload, right beside 4 SR-71's staged there for refurbishment. I was literally 50 yards from the closest one and I was impressed.
    If you can't make it precise make it adjustable.

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    Supporting Member Toolmaker51's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crusty View Post
    I once picked up a crated military load at White Sands, then was given a schedule and route to explicitly follow to haul it to the Skunkworks in Cal. An unmentioned black Suburban with black tinted windows followed me the entire trip. One of the crates wasn't nailed all that good and a top corner gradually started working open and I was getting pretty nervous about it but I wasn't about to stop and take a look at it. When I arrived they directed me to a portion of the airbase apron to unload, right beside 4 SR-71's staged there for refurbishment. I was literally 50 yards from the closest one and I was impressed.
    Sure was, but I could only see it with one eye, peeking out of the crate.
    Sincerely,
    Toolmaker51
    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

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    Supporting Member Crusty's Avatar
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    I knew that not lookin' in that crate was the right thing to do.
    If you can't make it precise make it adjustable.

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    I saw the one on the Intrepid.... it was still outside on the flight deck and they didn’t have it roped off; you could walk right up and touch it.

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    Story on how a group of Swedish fighter jocks managed several missile radarlocks on the "Baltic Express" SR-71 (doing 2.98M @ 70 500 ft) during the eighties:
    https://theaviationgeekclub.com/vigg...h-3-spy-plane/

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    There is a NASA SR-71B at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo in Kalamazoo Michigan. It is the only B model in existence (notice the trainer cockpit). You can walk up and touch the aircraft. It is eerily displayed with very dim, reddish lighting and it looks pretty sinister. The Air Zoo is a great aircraft museum and well worth the visit, especially if you take an extra few hours to visit the nearby Gilmore Car Museum, which hosts an outstanding collection.
    If you see both in the same visit, your testosterone level will double!


    Guy visits all SR-71 Blackbird planes - photos-sr-71b.jpg
    Guy visits all SR-71 Blackbird planes - photos-sr-71b-2.jpg

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    Supporting Member Duke_of_URL's Avatar
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    I got to support some "activities" at Edwards AFB many years back and met the last SR-71 pilots (retired USAF) who by then were working for NASA flying the last two SR's. They were rated in both U-2 and SR-71... talk about both ends of the spectrum! I also got to know one of the last Skunkworks Electricians who traveled all over the world supporting the aircraft during its active life. He said that NASA cherry picked the two best tails that were ever built, and he knew them all. He went on to say that if there was any reason the aircraft couldn't fly its mission it would be because of an electrical problem. The mechanical systems, including the fuel transfer system, were elegantly simple and nearly failure proof. A big part of electrical problems was damage from the intense heat experienced in flight. It would bake the wires making them extremely brittle. Touching a bundle would break some. Fixing one would break 3 more, and on it went. He said it was so bad that the Electricians had to fuel the aircraft and de-fuel it to fix the almost certain electrical problems. Mechanical techs were never needed for launch. The U.S. base in England was cold, wet, and getting JP-7 fuel all over yourself wasn't pleasant either.
    I've studied the SR-71 for the Engineering marvel that it was. There's not a bump or crease on that aircraft without some purpose. There's only one "Off The Shelf" component on that aircraft, but everything else was developed from scratch, from the tires to the windshields. Of course the Inlet Spikes to prevent supersonic shockwaves causing "unstarts" did have to be developed. It is the only aircraft to fly its entire mission in afterburner. It leaked fuel on the ground, due to its expansion joints never having a sealant developed that could stand the heat. The windshield is solid quartz. The techniques for working Titanium had to be pioneered by the Skunkworks, as it broke every drill bit or tool used on it. Each piece of fuselage of each aircraft was kept on 3x5 cards in the event a replacement part was ever needed - no two were ever the same. The Titanium used throughout the airframe had to be obtained from the one place with copious amounts of the stuff and no ready market at the time... the Soviet Union (Russia), using various CIA "front companies" all around the world. The space suits worn by the crew were used on the early Shuttle Missions. There are so many amazing things about that aircraft and it's capabilities are still shrouded in secrecy after all these years. What was the OTS component? The Pratt J-58 engines developed for a never finished Navy P6M SeaMaster.

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    Supporting Member threesixesinarow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIYSwede View Post
    Story on how a group of Swedish fighter jocks managed several missile radarlocks on the "Baltic Express" SR-71 (doing 2.98M @ 70 500 ft) during the eighties:
    https://theaviationgeekclub.com/vigg...h-3-spy-plane/
    This, too!

    https://www.popularmechanics.com/mil...-71-blackbird/

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    Jon (Oct 29, 2019)

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