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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

Just over at Bobbi's, which leads me to an SR-71 video that is talking about something that happened in 1964. 1964! That was the year after Kennedy was shot! I was still a little kid! The Gary Powers U2 incident was still fresh. The SR-71 was still secret, well for a couple of months anyway.

This video gives a pretty good overview of the SR-71. It talks about buying titanium from the Russians, the pervasive problem of temperature, choreography, fuel, power, speed and altitude.

The SR-71 doesn't look that impressive today, after all, it's old hat. But it was built in 1964, out of titanium. Now that I know more about what's involved, it's very impressive.

Update: A one hundred mile turn radius sounded a bit excessive, even if you are traveling faster than a speeding bullet, so I did some calculations. The resulting force on the plane and pilot would be 1.64 G's, meaning if you weighed 180 pounds on the ground, going through a corner you would feel like you weighed 300 pounds. And if you had to pull a U-turn, you would feel like that for almost six minutes!

You know, the Blackbird could be mistaken for Superman: faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

1 comment:

Ole Phat Stu said...

Given that the SR71 would probably be in coffin corner at 80,000 feet, I think 100 miles is probably too small since 1.6 G is too large for pulling out of coffin corner.