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10 Things You Don’t Know About ‘Black bird’ ..!

10 Things You Don't Know About 'Black bird' ..!
  1. The SR-71 Blackbird aircraft was built by Lockheed Martin and took its first flight in 1964. It was retired by NASA in 1999. The SR-71 has been given several nicknames, including Blackbird and Habu. The SR-71 served with the U.S. Air Force from 1964 to 1998.

 


2. It is the fastest planes that ever took flight. The official fastest record it holds is 2,193.13 mph on July 1976. 

SR-71s first arrived at the 9th SRW’s Operating Location (OL-8) at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa on 8 March 1968. These deployments were code named “Glowing Heat”, while the program as a whole was code named “Senior Crown”. Reconnaissance missions over North Vietnam were code named “Giant Scale”

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3. Over 4,000 missiles were fired at the Blackbird in the 25 years it was flown, but none ever hit it. The Blackbird was just too fast and its evasive tactic was just to speed up until the missile couldn’t keep up with it. 

A total of 32 aircraft were built; 12 were lost in accidents and none lost to enemy action.Considering all accident , Only one crew member, Jim Zwayer, a Lockheed flight-test reconnaissance and navigation systems specialist, was killed in a flight accident. The rest of the crew members ejected safely or evacuated their aircraft on the ground.

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4. The plane was covered in over 60 pounds of black paint because the black helped cool down the plane by up to 86 degrees. Traveling at over Mach 3, the plane could hit as high as 1,000 degrees without the black paint dissipating the heat.

Finished aircraft were painted a dark blue, almost black, to increase the emission of internal heat and to act as camouflage against the night sky. The dark color led to the aircraft’s nickname “Blackbird”. The outer windscreen of the cockpit was made of quartz and was fused ultrasonically to the titanium frame. The temperature of the exterior of the windscreen reached 600 °F (316 °C) during a mission.

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5.  It was built to fly up to Mach 3.4 speeds (approx. 2,500 mph on land).

It has held the world record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft since 1976; this record was previously held by the related Lockheed YF-12. During aerial reconnaissance missions, the SR-71 operated at high speeds and altitudes to allow it to outrace threats. If a surface-to-air missile launch was detected, the standard evasive action was simply to accelerate and outfly the missile.

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View from the cockpit at 73,000 feet (22,000 m) over the Atlantic Ocean


6. The plane required a large amount of titanium to be built so the CIA created fake companies around the world to buy metal from the USSR, which was the biggest supplier, as well as the United States’ enemy at that time.

The red stripes on some SR-71s were to prevent maintenance workers from damaging the skin. Near the center of the fuselage, the curved skin was thin and delicate, with no support from the structural ribs, which were spaced several feet apart.

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7. It’s tires were specially designed for the SR-71. Their material was made of aluminum powder which was impregnated to reject heat. This additive gave its unique appearance of silver coloration.

The Blackbird’s tires, manufactured by B.F. Goodrich, contained aluminum and were filled with nitrogen.

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8. It earned its nickname “Blackbird” because of how stealth it was. It was also extremely quiet inside the cockpit, according to pilot Richard Graham. “You could hear a pin drop. The view is spectacular, being able to see the curvature of the Earth and the black space above filled with stars,” he said.

The air inlets allowed the SR-71 to cruise at over Mach 3.2 while keeping airflow into the engines at the initial subsonic speeds. Mach 3.2 was the design point for the aircraft, its most efficient speed. At the front of each inlet, a pointed, movable cone called a “spike” (Inlet cone) was locked in its full forward position on the ground and during subsonic flight.

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9. Over 4,000 missiles were fired at the Blackbird in the 25 years it was flown, but none ever hit it. The Blackbird was just too fast and its evasive tactic was just to speed up until the missile couldn’t keep up with it.

The SR-71 was powered by two Pratt & Whitney J58 (company designation JT11D-20) axial-flow turbo-jet engines. The J58 was a considerable innovation of the era, capable of producing a static thrust of 32,500 lbf (145 kN)

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10. The camera on the Blackbird was so advanced that when it took a photo of a car on the ground that was 80,000 feet below it and the plane traveled at over 2,000 mph, the license plate would be visible in the photo.

Life support SR-71 pilot in full flight suit Flying at 80,000 ft (24,000 m) meant that crews could not use standard masks, which could not provide enough oxygen above 43,000 ft (13,000 m).an emergency ejection at Mach 3.2 would subject crews to temperatures of about 450 °F (230 °C) thus, during a high altitude ejection scenario, an onboard oxygen supply would keep the suit pressurized during the descent

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other Fascinating Facts

  • To work on the plane as a crew member, you needed to be between the ages of 25 and 40, be married and be“emotionally stable.”
  • Even though it leaked fuel, the fuel had such a high flash point that it would not ignite even if it was hit with fire.
  • The Blackbird was able to map terrain like a side-scanning sonar, aim a radar up to 45 degrees to the side, and interrupt enemy communication and radar signals

Source : Wikipedia , History in orbit

General characteristics

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  • Crew: 2: Pilot and Reconnaissance Systems Officer (RSO)
  • Payload: 3,500 lb (1,600 kg) of sensors
  • Length: 107 ft 5 in (32.74 m)
  • Wingspan: 55 ft 7 in (16.94 m)
  • Height: 18 ft 6 in (5.64 m)
  • Wing area: 1,800 ft2 (170 m2)
  • Empty weight: 67,500 lb (30,600 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 152,000 lb (69,000 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 172,000 lb (78,000 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney J58-1 continuous-bleed afterburning turbojets, 34,000 lbf (151 kN) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: Mach 3.3[121][122][N 5] (2,200+ mph, 3,540+ km/h, 1,910+ knots) at 80,000 ft (24,000 m)
  • Range: 2,900 nmi (5,400 km)
  • Ferry range: 3,200 nmi (5,925 km)
  • Service ceiling: 85,000 ft (25,900 m)
  • Rate of climb: 11820 ft/m (60 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 84 lb/ft² (410 kg/m²)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.44



  

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He is an aviation journalist and the founder of Jetline Marvel. Dawal gained a comprehensive understanding of the commercial aviation industry.  He has worked in a range of roles for more than 9 years in the aviation and aerospace industry. He has written more than 1700 articles in the aerospace industry. When he was 19 years old, he received a national award for his general innovations and holds the patent. He completed two postgraduate degrees simultaneously, one in Aerospace and the other in Management. Additionally, he authored nearly six textbooks on aviation and aerospace tailored for students in various educational institutions. jetlinem4(at)gmail.com

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