SR-71's, YF-12A's and A12's All go FAST

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Fitz
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Re: SR-71's, YF-12A's and A12's All go FAST

Postby Fitz » Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:57 pm

I don't know of any restrictions on the B models. The two small ventral fins under the nacelles, like the YF-12, were added to enhance lateral directional stability due to the raised canopy.
Yes, NASA used them all. They also had YF-12 and the SR-71C earlier as I recall. They did some research for the Aerospike engine which Lockheed was going to use on it's hypersonic vehicle, among other things. One of NASA's back seaters was Marta Bohn-Meyer, who was tragically killed a few years ago while practicing acrobatics in her own airplane.
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Mark D
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Re: SR-71's, YF-12A's and A12's All go FAST

Postby Mark D » Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:17 am

I just found my book that I’ve been looking for.

SR-71 REVEALED,
Written by Richard H. Grahm, Col. USAF (RET)
SR-71 pilot, squadron commander and 9th Strategic Wing commander
Copyright 1996

I’d forgotten how good this book is. Certainly it’s a great reference for the real information behind the blackbird family of aircraft and their operations. It includes much behind the scenes information that would not normally be easily found. Especially concerning the final days of the entire program.
The author tells about day to day operations, typically at Kadena but other bases too.

One such is his recitation of “One of the most demanding and shortest SR-71 operational missions.”
It involved no refueling but was a Mach-3+ recon mission that involved a single pass through the Korean DMZ. Obviously for pictures of North Korea.
The flight lasted a total of 57 minutes.
They ran in after burner from takeoff until they began the decel back into Kadena. They called it the “Rocket Ride.”
The crews ran a competition on who could break a (private only to the Habu’s at Kadena) time to climb record.
The parameters were the time from brake release to 80,000 feet and Mach-3.
The best time ever achieved was 14 minutes.
When you think about it, that’s almost a 6,000 foot/minute rate of climb average from ground to 80K. No wonder they called it the Rocket Ride!

The program to operate the SR-71’s was running around 220 million dollars. The cost of one new B-2 “stealth” bomber was, at the same time, running around 700m. This puts the costs into perspective, and partly demonstrates that the reasons for termination of the project were generally political and egotistical in nature. This can also be shown by the evidence given in Col. Graham’s book.

After termination of the program, the aircraft and other related equipment had to be distributed to various locations. There was a tremendous call for Blackbird aircraft for display purposes.

In one instance, on March 6, 1990 SR-71 #972 set four international speed records while being delivered to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
Even here, those pols who wanted to kill the SR-71 managed to cancel the flight at least one time, by one Gen. Welch (One of the SR-71's worst enemies) in trying to keep any publicity on the capabilities of the aircraft out of public view, apparently for fear of being shown up for what a buffoon he really is.
The flight was eventually made, as history shows.

A number of aircraft were stored serviceable, but will probably never fly again anyway.

I came across the following information on the general perfoamance specifications of the Blackbird aircraft. Note especially the weight of this beast, the initial rate of climb, and the wing aspect ratio:

General characteristics

Crew: 2
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: 170,000 lb (77,000 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 172,000 lb (78,000 kg)
Powerplant: 2× Pratt & Whitney J58-1 continuous-bleed afterburning turbojets, 32,500 lbf (145 kN) each
Wheel track: 16 ft 8 in (5.08 m)
Wheel base: 37 ft 10 in (11.53 m)
Aspect ratio: 1.7

Performance

Maximum speed: Mach 3.2+ (2,200+ mph, 3,530+ km/h,1900 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: 11,810 ft/min (60 m/s)
Wing loading: 94 lb/ft2 (460 kg/m2)
Thrust/weight: 0.382

Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

Mark D
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Re: SR-71's, YF-12A's and A12's All go FAST

Postby Mark D » Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:19 pm

By the way... Correction to my earlier post regarding the starting fluid they used to get the engines on that thing started. Somewhere back there, I called it Triethylborate. It is actually Triethylborane.
Spray a little of that in your cold diesel engine when it's 50 below in Alaska! That oughta' get it going.

Mark D.
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Fitz
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Re: SR-71's, YF-12A's and A12's All go FAST

Postby Fitz » Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:12 am

Mark, while attending the NRHS convention in Tacoma, WA, I took one day off trains to visit the (vastly expanded since my last visit in 1972) Boeing Museum of Flight. I photographed the A-12/D-21 mated combination from every angle, and got a good one of the Buick start cart. Also got a bunch of old WW1 aircraft engines that I know you would be interested in. I need to spend some time downloading all the photos, but let me know if you are interested.
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Mark D
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Re: SR-71's, YF-12A's and A12's All go FAST

Postby Mark D » Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:31 am

Hi Fitz
If you don't mind, why not post them here so others can see them too?
I'd really like to see them. But I'm sure others would too.
Mark D.
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Fitz
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Re: SR-71's, YF-12A's and A12's All go FAST

Postby Fitz » Fri Jul 08, 2011 6:14 pm

Ask and you shall receive. Boeing really displays this well, and their entire museum is first class. The Smithsonian and the one in McMinnville, Oregon are excellent, too.
Attachments
2011NRHS138.jpg
From below, note the pylons it is mounted on
2011NRHS137.jpg
Head-on view
2011NRHS136.jpg
My first glimpse
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Re: SR-71's, YF-12A's and A12's All go FAST

Postby Fitz » Fri Jul 08, 2011 6:20 pm

Here are some 3/4 rear views, one from above and one from below. Then a WWI engine, didn't go Mach 3+
Attachments
2011NRHS190.jpg
motor
2011NRHS145.jpg
Above
2011NRHS141.jpg
Below
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Re: SR-71's, YF-12A's and A12's All go FAST

Postby Fitz » Fri Jul 08, 2011 6:27 pm

Another WWI motor, part of the outdoor display featuring SST, Air Force One, a Connie and many others, and my favorite airplane, the F-104. I have finally remembered that they appear in the opposite order that they are attached.
Attachments
2011NRHS191.jpg
'nother motor
2011NRHS133.jpg
Outdoor displays
2011NRHS139.jpg
NASA F-104
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Mark D
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Re: SR-71's, YF-12A's and A12's All go FAST

Postby Mark D » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:52 am

GREAT photo's, Fitz!
The F-104 is one of my favorites too. As a fighter, it had an issue, though, and partly because of it's very high wing loading, of needing the area of a small country to turn around. But could it go fast? Yes! The type holds a number of world records for speed and time to climb, etc.
I forget who it was, I think Darryl Greenameir, but not sure, who built an F-104 back in the '80s from parts salvaged from original mockups, or something like that. He found an engine on a test bed somewhere and put it together with the sole purpose of setting records. And records he set. I recall there was some sort of controversey with the government about the engine. It seems that engine was not "authorized" to be in the hands of the public. I do not recall what engine family it came from, though.

It's sad to see that beautiful old Connie sitting out there in the elements, unused. Way in the background. In my view one of the most beautiful airliners ever built. Most look like busses with wings. The Constellation looks sculpted. Beautiful lines. Unfortunately, it was not the best performing airliner, cost ratio wise. Oh well. They still look great.
Beautiful shot of the A-12 and it's D-21 on it's back. An A-12 with a monkey on its back, so to speak. Obviously that particular drone never flew. Is that the only D-21 left in existance?
Mark D.
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Fitz
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Re: SR-71's, YF-12A's and A12's All go FAST

Postby Fitz » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:35 pm

Doggonit, I had to log in again today. I have so many passwords stuck in different places it's a miracle I found it. Does this happen to everyone?
Answers: Yes, Darryl Greenamyer built an F-104, the Red Baron. I heard he was caught stealing a set of wings from the plant but don't know if that was true. The J-79 was a Navy engine and with the generator and other items it wouldn't fit at first. I asked Darryl a long time after why he didn't ask for help from some of us electrical types who could have saved him a lot of grief. Darryl ended up punching out of that jet after setting the last record he set, as the gear would not come down.

That Connie may be flyable. In my hazy memory I think that might be the one that the OTHER Boeing museum restored and if so it is flyable.

D-21's are prolific. After Kelly Johnson cancelled the A-12/D-21 following the crash of the other combo and the death of Ray Torick, the D-21's got a second life launched from B-52s. There were a bunch of them found at Davis-Monthan years ago. One is in the McMinnville museum and I'm sure there are many more in museums.

The neatest 104 I worked on were the three Aerospace Trainers built for the Edwards Test Pilot school. They had a rocket engine installed above the J-79 back at the tail and routinely exceeded 100,000 feet. They had reaction controls and were used to train guys to fly the X-15.
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Mark D
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Re: SR-71's, YF-12A's and A12's All go FAST

Postby Mark D » Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:00 pm

Fitz, you'll have to log in if you clear your cookies for any reason, or if a cookie becomes corrupted for any reason, or if you set your computer back to a restore point before a current cookie was set, or if you change your privacy settings. Or if you don't allow cookies. Or if the forum is reset by the administrator. But in this case, everyone would have to log back in. There are probably other reasons too. Can't think of them off hand.

If that Connie is flyable, it would have to have been flown recently, relatively speaking. Otherwise, it becomes like old steam locomotives. You know the drill, It was put away in running condition in 1951, and here it is 2011, but it should be ready to go...
As I know that you know, it's the same way only ten times worse, wtih an aircraft.
I'm amazed there are so many D-21's around. I never heard of them actually being used. Maybe that's why there are so many around. I wonder if one could be converted into a reusable aircraft of some sort.... Weather research, radio propogation research, or? Or fly them over Iran for their intended purpose.

And with the F-104, maybe it was the wings I read about where there was some sort of controversy. In any case, he ended up with an entire aircraft. I had heard that it was wrecked, but I never did learn why. Couldn't get the gear down, so he punched out? He would certainly know a heck of a lot more about it than I would, so I'm not trying to second guess the man, but in most aircraft, when you can't get the gear down, you belly it in and usually save the aircraft. I'm sure there was a reason. Maybe that opening scene on 6 million dollar man got to him. :-D
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve


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