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Thread: SR-71 Blackbird

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    Default SR-71 Blackbird

    I got to stand next to one of the 40 of these that were made when I was at the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson last December. Absolutely amazing, and it represents an era in flight that we'll never see again.

    http://m.gizmodo.com/5950763/holy-fc...birds-together
    Lynn Fuston
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    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

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    PookyNR is offline 3D VIP 2005, '06, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12, '13, '14
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    My all time favourite aircraft.

    They don't make them like they used to...
    Am I the only one without a small type signature?

    Nathan

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    Nor will they ever again.

    I wonder if they'll be saying that about big iron consoles in 20 years. Just pondering.

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    Tim Julian's Avatar
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    Great story, love the one-upmanship part about ground speed checks - had to convert it to Kph for my kids, about 3,600kph (or 2,236mph for those living in the states).

    Tim
    Tim Julian
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    Arguably the pinnacle of 20th century flight. Would probably have remained effective until laser weapons were perfected... undone by stealth and drones. Incredible service record... amazing aircraft. Likely did more to keep us safe (in a global sense) than any other single piece of hardware. Thanks for the link.

    HB
    Harry Butler Photography, Videography and AV Production
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    Scott Fraser is offline Gold Club Member (1000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by hbphotoav View Post
    Arguably the pinnacle of 20th century flight. Would probably have remained effective until laser weapons were perfected... undone by stealth and drones.
    Or satellites. There's really no need for manned photographic intelligence missions anymore since satellites can do all that at zero risk.

    SF

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Fraser View Post
    Or satellites. There's really no need for manned photographic intelligence missions anymore since satellites can do all that at zero risk.

    SF
    ...if the satellite can be tasked to "get over" a hot spot in less time than it would have taken a Blackbird. And, if the bad guys don't have intel about the orbits... This from the Wiki-world:

    "Much speculation exists regarding a replacement for the SR-71, most notably aircraft identified as the Aurora. This is due to limitations of spy satellites, which are governed by the laws of orbital mechanics. It may take up to 24 hours before a satellite is in proper orbit to photograph a particular target, far longer than a reconnaissance plane. Spy planes can provide the most current intelligence information and collect it when lighting conditions are optimum. The fly-over orbit of spy satellites may also be predicted and can allow the enemy to hide assets when they know the satellite is above, a drawback spy planes do not exhibit."

    John Glenn said, after the first retirement of the program, "Mr. President, the termination of the SR-71 was a grave mistake and could place our nation at a serious disadvantage in the event of a future crisis. Yesterday's historic transcontinental flight was a sad memorial to our short-sighted policy in strategic aerial reconnaissance." [Los Angeles, CA to Washington, D.C., distance 2,299.7 miles (3,701.0 km), average speed 2,144.8 miles per hour (3,451.7 km/h), and an elapsed time of 64 minutes 20 seconds, and three others.]

    Drones are the obvious tactical replacement... with RADAR improvements, and ultra-high-rez sensors that are miles better than in '98... but they are (at this point) extremely limited in speed, range and payload. Good enough for the sorts of things we peek at (and occasionally shoot, when they let us) in SandLand... but not so sure they'd be nearly as effective over Mother Russia or the ChiComms. But, then, they're our friends now, aren't they...?

    As to the ultimate death stroke... it was delivered by none other than William Jefferson Clinton, supported by Air Force generals involved in the early drone program. Peace benefit.

    HB
    Last edited by hbphotoav; 10-30-2012 at 04:48 AM.
    Harry Butler Photography, Videography and AV Production
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    "I'm CDO. That's like OCD, but the letters are in alphabetical order. As they should be." Seen on a T-Shirt.

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    PookyNR is offline 3D VIP 2005, '06, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12, '13, '14
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    Here's another story from Col. Rich Graham who was a pilot and then trainer for the SR-71. I thought those of us here who admire this airplane might appreciate the story.
    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/2013...rd-cockpit/all

    Here's a video with Col. Graham about the aircraft and some of the history and missions:
    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/2013...-fastest-plane
    Am I the only one without a small type signature?

    Nathan

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    I was talking about the SR-71 with a USAF Colonel (retired) just this past weekend. And B-24, B-29, B-52, C5, etc.
    Lynn Fuston
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    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3daudioinc View Post
    I was talking about the SR-71 with a USAF Colonel (retired) just this past weekend. And B-24, B-29, B-52, C5, etc.
    And that....

    is something our 'experts' seem to have forgotten. No enemy forces, no amount of hi tech, none of that stuff, can systemically hack good pilots - satellites, drones, even aircraft themselves, can be hacked - perhaps even one or two humans can succumb to bad command lines, but systemic rewriting of code?

    Nah... but governments keep the single most stable (and expensive) element out of weaponry and exploration. Somehow, it isn't the same. I felt safe knowing there were Blackbirds in the sky; it scares the living %$^* out of me knowing there are drones and satellites in the same sky...

    Maybe it's just the people operating them, and the hands on real time decisions they make? Kind of like REALLY high stakes mixing I guess.
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