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Questions tagged [sr-71]

The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird was a US Air Force supersonic reconnaissance aircraft.

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106
votes
13answers
32k views

Why does it take so long to develop modern military jets?

In the 1960's, it took three years to produce a flying prototype of an aircraft that flew faster than anything before, was built out of a novel construction material, used a new type of fuel, and was ...
40
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3answers
15k views

How did SR-71 spy, flying at 80,000 ft and 3500 km/h?

The SR-71 Blackbird is a famous supersonic reconnaissance/spy aircraft, undoubtedly one of the most amazing flying machines ever. Now, with the capabilities it had: Maximum speed: Mach 3.3 (2,200+ ...
32
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5answers
15k views

Why does the SR-71 Blackbird sometimes have dents in the nose?

On many pictures (maybe on most of the pictures) part of nose looks hammered or slightly smashed, or bent. Please note these 2 symmetric dents just behind nose spike: source source On other ...
29
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5answers
9k views

Why was the production of the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird halted?

Why was production of Lockheed's SR-71 Blackbird halted, given that it was an advanced supersonic jet that was ahead of its time?
27
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7answers
12k views

Could a SR-71 be shot down today?

I've read that the SR-71 had no missile defenses because it could simply outrun any adversary. Is this still true? Or is it unlikely that the SR-71 could operate unimpeded in the face of modern ...
20
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3answers
4k views

How do fast-flying aircraft avoid overheating?

As a follow-up question to What is the typical temperature of an airliner's hull during flight? I wonder how very fast airplanes, such as the SR-71 mentioned, avoid overheating with a total air ...
20
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3answers
13k views

What is the minimum turning radius of an SR-71?

What is the minimum turning radius of an SR-71 at Mach 3.2 and an altitude of 80,000 feet? I have heard that if an SR-71 were to cross the Pacific coast over San Francisco and pull a hard turn to ...
15
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3answers
5k views

What are the limiting factors for high altitude planes (e.g: U2 or SR71) preventing them from going higher?

I'm curious as to why planes like the U2 Dragon Lady and the SR71 Blackbird couldn't fly higher. What physical constraint set their operational ceiling? Pilots wore spacesuits, so that wasn't the ...
11
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4answers
3k views

What is a ramjet?

What is a ramjet? Was it used on the SR-71 Blackbird?
11
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3answers
7k views

Why was the U-2 so different from the SR-71?

Both were designed for the same goals: taking photographs at high altitude, avoiding radar. Both were designed by the same company with a few years apart. Yet one is a "jet glider", with large ...
11
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3answers
9k views

Why does the J58 engine of the SR-71 have a diffuser after the inlet spike?

I heard that the diffuser allows the compressed air after the inlet spike to "spread out". What does this mean? If this means expansion, wouldn't it be beneficial to have it compressed before entering ...
11
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3answers
1k views

Can stainless steel replace titanium for Mach 3+ speeds?

In the documentary Wings of Russia: MiG-25 and MiG-31, they mentioned both aircraft had to use special stainless steel alloys and arc welding to withstand the Mach 2.83 - 3.2 speeds. I couldn't help ...
10
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1answer
4k views

How long did the SR-71 take to get to cruising altitude?

How long did it take for the SR-71 to go from taking off to 80,000 ft, including refueling?
8
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2answers
6k views

Did the SR-71 have any windshields?

In this video of a more complex cockpit, belonging to the SR-71, why don't we see any windshields? Were they not required for the SR-71, or are they not captured in this video? If windshields were ...
8
votes
1answer
821 views

Is there ATC audio from the Sled Driver Speed Check story?

I love this story, like a lot of people, but is it possible to find the actual ATC recording from that story? Excerpt: Then, I heard it. The click of the mic button from the back seat. That was ...
7
votes
4answers
24k views

What is the true top speed of the SR-71?

By "true" top speed I mean the absolute fastest horizontal airspeed the aircraft can achieve if damage to the engines is disregarded (similar to how the MiG-25 apparently can reach mach 3.2 but may ...
6
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2answers
550 views

If maximum speed was a priority for modern military fighter jets and bombers, approximately how fast would they likely be?

Burt Rutan talks rather passionately about the lack of innovation in space flight, but also mentions how fighter jet (maximum) speed performance has stalled: In fact,...
6
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2answers
2k views

Why does X-Plane 11 show the SR-71 at 200 knots but Mach 3 at 80,000 ft?

So I noticed on X-Plane 11, the SR-71 reaches Mach 3 at 80000 feet, but the equivalent airspeed is only around 200 knots. What explains this difference between the mach number readout and the EAS ...
5
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4answers
4k views

What are the differences between the SR 71 variants?

I read that all SR 71 blackbirds were different, what was different with each one and is one regarded as superior to the rest? Why?
5
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1answer
484 views

What is the actual exhaust velocity of the exhaust from the J58 engines at cruise (Mach 3.2)?

The SR-71 ran on two J58 turbojet engines and cruised at Mach 3.2. What I want to know is, what is the actual exhaust velocity (relative to the airplane itself) of the jet exhaust at those conditions?...
4
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1answer
4k views

What advantages would a triangular shaped spy plane have over a an SR-71?

This is a picture of the supposed SR-72 Aurora. What kind of advantages would this have over the SR-71, in terms of its triangle design? Paper airplanes have the same shape, and fly really well. The ...
4
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3answers
549 views

Is there currently any heat shielding and paint for speeds of up to Mach 6?

The Blackbird SR71 could travel faster than Mach 3 but its speed was limited to prevent its skin from melting. Its newer variant is said to be named the SR72 and it and other, civilian hypersonic ...
4
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2answers
856 views

What material was/is used on the skin of the Blackbird SR71?

What material was/is used on the skin of the Blackbird SR71 and how was it cooled. How was it manufactured to be stronger with age
3
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2answers
489 views

Is there an “SR-72” under development?

The Extreme Tech website reports that Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works has confirmed that it is developing the SR-72 spy plane. The successor to the SR-71 Blackbird, which was capable of Mach 3.5, ...
2
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1answer
320 views

What Blackbird variant is the one at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo?

Which one is sitting at the Air Zoo (Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum)? What variant is it?
1
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1answer
875 views

How does the Blackbird SR-71 pressurize the cockpit at Mach 3?

I'd assume the Blackbird's engine that converted into a ramjet once at supersonic speed had no moving parts at ramjet phase. If the engines were off, how then did it pressurize the cockpit at cruise ...
1
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0answers
85 views

Where are elevators located in aircraft with delta wings? [duplicate]

Where were elevators located in aircraft with delta wings, notably the Concorde and the Blackbird SR-71? If they didn't exist, how did these aircraft perform the nose up maneuver mid-air and at take ...
-1
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2answers
620 views

Could a modified J58 jet engine be used commercially?

Could this mean for more fuel efficient supersonic commercial cruising? If so in what ways would it need to be modified and how possible is this?
-3
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1answer
350 views

private jet based of an sr 71 [closed]

could a private jet be based of an SR 71 blackbird. By this I mean similar styling and shape. Would this be a good basis to make a private jet super sonic (disregarding sonic boom). What would the ...