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For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: DP
Date: December 12, 2014 03:57PM
Rare photos of the SR-71 Blackbird show its amazing history.

Here's one of the pix:



The ramjet-powered D-21 drone was developed as a high-speed, unmanned strategic reconnaissance platform. Originally designed to be air-launched from atop specially equipped A-12s, designated M-21, they were later modified for underwing carriage and rocket-assisted launch by B-52 bombers.

[sploid.gizmodo.com]
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: Racer X
Date: December 12, 2014 04:13PM
I don't know why, but I think the SR-71, F-111, and B-1B are the 3 most beautiful planes the US has built. Well, maybe some of Burt Rutan's stuff too.
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: DP
Date: December 12, 2014 04:29PM
I second the B-1B.
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: December 12, 2014 04:33PM
I'd add the XB-70... but for different reasons. Something that enormous, flying at MACH 3!



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

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Eureka, CA
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: Schpark
Date: December 12, 2014 04:35PM
I vote for the Warthog.



"Without death, life would lose much of its meaning. My goal is to live in such a manner that I alter world in some fundamental way before I'm gone. As I get older and watch my son grow I realize I've already achieved my goal." - Ztirffritz
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: December 12, 2014 04:37PM
Quote
Schpark
I vote for the Warthog.

The Warthog is COOL as all getout... but beautiful? Nope...



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: December 12, 2014 04:53PM
Another vote for the A-10.




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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: December 12, 2014 05:16PM
[www.wired.com]
Quote
Wired
America’s Toughest, Ugliest Warplane Is Going Back Into Battle

For more than 30 years, the A-10 Thunderbolt II—better known as the Warthog because it’s so ugly—has performed a crucial role: attacking hostile targets that threaten troops on the ground, a task called close air support. The plane, designed for the Cold War, is old. It’s slow. And it’s about as sophisticated as a hammer. But it is heavily armored and wickedly armed, making it a ruthlessly effective weapon. And that is why, despite ongoing efforts by Defense Department brass to kill it, the Warthog is headed back into battle to help in the fight against ISIS.

An undisclosed number of Warthogs, part of the “Blacksnakes” 163rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron based at Fort Wayne, Indiana, have been deployed to Middle Eastern airbases to provide air cover to troops fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

That makes the A-10 something of a zombie—it refuses to die. The Air Force wants to scuttle the 238 A-10s still in service, a move that would save $3.7 billion over five years—and make way for more sophisticated planes like the new F-35 Lightning II. But given the crucial role it plays providing close air support, something particularly helpful against enemies in a place like Iraq, the A-10 has many staunch defenders, including Senator John McCain....





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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: December 12, 2014 05:19PM
Quote
Schpark
I vote for the Warthog.

May not be beautiful, but it's definitely the gun to bring to a ground battle. It's probably the aircraft most feared by our enemies.
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: Racer X
Date: December 12, 2014 05:36PM
Risking frontline world class fighter to do down low and dirty ground support, when the A-10s are way beyond payed for, and far superior in that role, is baffling.
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: December 12, 2014 05:54PM
Quote
Racer X
Risking frontline world class fighter to do down low and dirty ground support, when the A-10s are way beyond payed for, and far superior in that role, is baffling.

Somewhere, there's a bean counter scratching his head, saying "But, see, right here... if we have fewer aircraft types, it's cheaper! See!".

Sometimes I wonder if we try to reach too far with new aircraft.
Take an A-10 to (insert aircraft maker here), and tell them; "We want a plane that does THIS.... from the 30mm cannon to the titanium bathtub the pilot sits in, to the ordinance it carries... you build us a new plane with modern systems that does all that. Nothing more is needed. You overcomplicate it, and we're going to punch you in the nose! We know it's possible, because this was built in the early 70's!"

Freakin' awesome plane.. but beautiful? No... only in function.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: nwyaker
Date: December 12, 2014 05:55PM
Quote
Racer X
Risking frontline world class fighter to do down low and dirty ground support, when the A-10s are way beyond payed for, and far superior in that role, is baffling.

agree smiley

Don't mess with the 'Hog !

[pinstake.com]:||files^air-attack^com|MIL|a10|a10_bottom^jpg/
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: December 12, 2014 06:11PM
I've always had a fascination with the SR-71. I wrote a book report on it while I was in elementary school, and follow news updates about it over the years. There's very few things I would be really thrilled to do, but flying in a SR-71 would be one of them. I'd have no need to go super fast or super high. It's one of the coolest machines that it seems like so few people know about.




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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: December 12, 2014 06:23PM
They have one on The Intrepid carrier/aircraft museum at Pier 86 W 46th St and 12th Ave, New York, NY 10036. Also a Space Shuttle, a British Airways Concorde, an early missile sub and a F-14 Tomcat, Grumman Avenger, MiG-21 and a F-16 Viper. Lots of fun, awesome tech.
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: December 12, 2014 06:33PM
The Boeing Flight Museum in Seattle has a variant of the SR-71. When I was last there they had the planes lined up in chronological order from when they first flew. The Blackbird stuck out like a sore thumb. I mean, it suddenly made me seriously consider if maybe something did land in Roswell NM, because prior to the Blackbird we had jets, but they were basically prop planes with jet engines instead of prop engines. Suddenly this MASSIVE black craft made out of a thin titanium skin that goes almost out of the atmosphere at several times the speed of sound appears. There's nothing significant leading up to it. It just sort of suddenly happens. It seemed very out of place and makes one think...'Huh, I wonder how that happened?" I know that there were research projects leading up to it. I know that it didn't happen in a vacuum, but it just seems like too massive of a leap in technology without the surrounding and supporting work to lead to that final result.

This is a really good book about the U2, SR-71, and several other covert projects developed by Lockheed. It's a fun and fascinating read.
[smile.amazon.com]



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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: December 12, 2014 06:54PM
Quote
ztirffritz
The Boeing Flight Museum in Seattle has a variant of the SR-71. When I was last there they had the planes lined up in chronological order from when they first flew. The Blackbird stuck out like a sore thumb. I mean, it suddenly made me seriously consider if maybe something did land in Roswell NM, because prior to the Blackbird we had jets, but they were basically prop planes with jet engines instead of prop engines. Suddenly this MASSIVE black craft made out of a thin titanium skin that goes almost out of the atmosphere at several times the speed of sound appears. There's nothing significant leading up to it. It just sort of suddenly happens. It seemed very out of place and makes one think...'Huh, I wonder how that happened?" I know that there were research projects leading up to it. I know that it didn't happen in a vacuum, but it just seems like too massive of a leap in technology without the surrounding and supporting work to lead to that final result.

This is a really good book about the U2, SR-71, and several other covert projects developed by Lockheed. It's a fun and fascinating read.
[smile.amazon.com]

The only explanation you need is:

Materials Scientists
Kick Ass Engineers
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: JoeM
Date: December 12, 2014 07:11PM
My oldest brother worked for a company that made a part for the SR-71 and he always said it was amazing. He gave me some great photos of it from that time. My middle brother actually worked at Gruman and he used to build F-111s. Got some pretty neat photos from him too.

I'm a big fan of the B17 and especially the G. You only have to climb into one of them one time to come away with immense admiration for those who served in them.



JoeM
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: Racer X
Date: December 12, 2014 07:17PM
Quote
Lew Zealand
Quote
ztirffritz
The Boeing Flight Museum in Seattle has a variant of the SR-71. When I was last there they had the planes lined up in chronological order from when they first flew. The Blackbird stuck out like a sore thumb. I mean, it suddenly made me seriously consider if maybe something did land in Roswell NM, because prior to the Blackbird we had jets, but they were basically prop planes with jet engines instead of prop engines. Suddenly this MASSIVE black craft made out of a thin titanium skin that goes almost out of the atmosphere at several times the speed of sound appears. There's nothing significant leading up to it. It just sort of suddenly happens. It seemed very out of place and makes one think...'Huh, I wonder how that happened?" I know that there were research projects leading up to it. I know that it didn't happen in a vacuum, but it just seems like too massive of a leap in technology without the surrounding and supporting work to lead to that final result.

This is a really good book about the U2, SR-71, and several other covert projects developed by Lockheed. It's a fun and fascinating read.
[smile.amazon.com]

The only explanation you need is:

Materials Scientists
Kick Ass Engineers

and slide rules. When the only mandate is a set of specs, and make it happen, good old American engineering is phenominal.
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: Uncle Wig
Date: December 12, 2014 07:30PM
because prior to the Blackbird we had jets, but they were basically prop planes with jet engines instead of prop engines.

Well, that's hardly true! Even as early as the F-86 Sabre, we were a long way from sticking a jet engine in an airframe designed for a piston engine. By the time of the Century Series fighters, starting with the F-100 Super Sabre in 1953, we were well into advanced supersonic jets.

I'm struck by the photo of the SR-71 being towed past the XF-35A in 2000. 14 years of testing and they still can't get that turd to work right, even after applying many billions of extra dollars to it. How long did it take for the A-12 to go from drawing board to operational? Seven years?



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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: December 12, 2014 07:40PM
Below are the most beautiful military aircraft the US has produced in my opinion. Each exudes a confidence of purpose. Only two were placed into production though.


SR-71 Blackbird


XB-70 Valkarie


YB-49 Flying Wing


P-49 Lightning


P6M-2 Seamaster



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: December 12, 2014 07:50PM
Quote
Racer X
I don't know why, but I think the SR-71, F-111, and B-1B are the 3 most beautiful planes the US has built. Well, maybe some of Burt Rutan's stuff too.

All designs from the 60s. How about that…
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: testcase
Date: December 12, 2014 09:28PM
Wow, hard to imagine something as big as an SR-71 mounted under / atop another aircraft.
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: rob banzai
Date: December 12, 2014 09:44PM
As a kid nothing said "fighter jet like the Hun.





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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: Racer X
Date: December 12, 2014 09:45PM
Quote
Article Accelerator
Quote
Racer X
I don't know why, but I think the SR-71, F-111, and B-1B are the 3 most beautiful planes the US has built. Well, maybe some of Burt Rutan's stuff too.

All designs from the 60s. How about that…

Well, the SR-71 started in the 50s, but the B-1 was built by the same team that created the F-111. Not really a surprise.
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: Forrest
Date: December 12, 2014 09:51PM
Ombligo,
I think the B-2 deserves a spot right next to the YB-49. At least the B-2 did make it into production, but they only made 21.

Rob,
That was the plane my father maintained in Vietnam.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/12/2014 09:52PM by Forrest.
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: Uncle Wig
Date: December 12, 2014 10:07PM
Ombiglio,

I like those choices. Thanks especially for the P6M Seamaster. That could have developed into a very potent airplane, and boy was it good looking. It was basically equal to the Boing B-47. The Air Force was pretty insistant on keeping hold of that nuclear attack capability and Boeing was way more popular with the Brass than Martin, so the B-47 got the brass ring. In itself a wonderful airplane, and also a real looker.





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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: jh
Date: December 12, 2014 10:10PM
Ah the memories:

1. When I was quite young (8 or 9 years old) we visited the Air Force Museum in Dayton Ohio. They had a B-29 fuselage opened so you could walk through it from the front to back. As we were walking through it a gentleman was talking to his child explaining what he did when it would fly in one during WWII bombing Japan. I remember he talked about how he would sleep in the tube above the bomb compartment on long missions.

2. A few years ago I visited our airport to see a B-24 and a B-29 (FiFi) as they were giving free tours inside each plane. They would bring you up in the nose of the B-29 and we had two veterans one who flew a B-17 and another who flew the B-29 talk to us. Wow. Also they started up one of the engines of the B-24 to work in some oil that was added while I was there.

3. I grew up and still live near my city's airport (noise and all). Years ago one of the planes in civil aviation hanger by the main road close to our my neighborhood had a P-51 Mustang. My neighbor worked at the airport at that time and met the owner. Turned out the owner was a former pilot from WWII who obtained one--I assume from surplus. He owned a construction business if I remember correctly. On several occassions he would fly over our home.

Wow again.
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: December 13, 2014 01:06AM
My two standout memories of the SR-71 are: it making a coasting pass at about 300 mph and being essentially silent at that distance, and then going close to full afterburners at the end of the show and disappearing from sight in about 90 seconds.



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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: Speedy
Date: December 13, 2014 08:02AM
B-52.



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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: DP
Date: December 13, 2014 11:10AM
Can't forget this guy:



Actually, there is a problem with the A-10 in that there are new, more powerful RPG-type weapons that can take down A-10s pretty easily. That is one reason for retiring A-10s and using F-35s as they can get in and out undetected before an ISIS-type knows they have blown to smithereens.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/13/2014 11:15AM by DP.
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: December 13, 2014 11:47AM
I think we can safely eliminate these US Military planes from the beauty contest…


Northup Tacit Blue


F-85 Goblin parasite fighter


A-7 Corsair


Douglas A2D Skyshark


Grumman OV-1 Mohawk



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/13/2014 11:56AM by Ombligo.
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: D. Lawson
Date: December 13, 2014 12:02PM
Quote
jh
1. When I was quite young (8 or 9 years old) we visited the Air Force Museum in Dayton Ohio. They had a B-29 fuselage opened so you could walk through it from the front to back. As we were walking through it a gentleman was talking to his child explaining what he did when it would fly in one during WWII bombing Japan. I remember he talked about how he would sleep in the tube above the bomb compartment on long missions.

I did that same walkthrough with my grandfather when I was a teen. He still remembered damn near everything about that aircraft almost 50 years later.
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: Uncle Wig
Date: December 13, 2014 12:05PM
You want gorgeous? Here's gorgeous: The Republic XF-12 Rainbow.









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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: jh
Date: December 13, 2014 01:45PM
Forgot to mention my next door neighbor's father flew on one of these as a gunner and a cook. That's right cook. He said the roar of the engines going by even in the air shook the ground you were standing on. "Six turning and four burning." I always liked these especially when I saw one for real. The B-36.



I still remember this movie about them. The air photography still impresses me.




Moving away from the military ones but still flying down memory lane:

My first airplane flight was on this one with my older brother by ourselves back in the either the late 50's or early 60's. The stewardess asked us if we wanted to go up to the cockpit and visit with the pilots. We did and I remember my brother was allowed to talk to the control tower. Boy how times have changed.


Martin 4-0-4 "Silver Falcon" from Eastern Airlines.

My sister flew on one of these by herself during the same time period.


American Airlines DC-3 Flagship

These flew over or near our house around the same time period and even a little later
.

DC-6/7 Various Airlines


Lockheed "Connie" Various Airlines
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: December 13, 2014 04:31PM
What is that tiny little sea plane under the XF-12's wing?
It's so CUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUTE!

And yes, the XF-12 is a sleek and gorgeous plane!



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: Uncle Wig
Date: December 13, 2014 04:52PM
Paul, Republic Seabee

[republicseabee.com]

[www.seabee.info]



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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: December 13, 2014 05:18PM
Ah, gone are the days when the same companies that produced cutting edge military aircraft (Republic, Grumman, etc.) also produced stuff for the common man. Now you can't get companies like Lockheed (or Grumman for that matter) to touch it unless there are millions/billions of dollars to be made. :-P

I kinda jest though. However, I am enjoying this thread. It's good to know there are a lot of aircraft nuts here that are much like myself.
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: Uncle Wig
Date: December 13, 2014 05:50PM
The Seabee was Republic's attempt to crack the civvie market, but it wasn't a money-maker and it was the only time Republic tried that. There was some commercial interest in the Rainbow, but it was expensive (and expensive to operate) for a limited passenger capacity. Besides that, Douglas had the post-war transport market mostly sewn up until the Boeing 707 came along.

Lockheed tried to get into the civvie market with this cute little runabout, the Model 33 "Little DIpper" but the market just wasn't there. Turns out a lot of the guys who flew in the war didn't want to own their own plane after all!



And a nifty two-seater, the "Big Dipper."









Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/13/2014 05:54PM by Uncle Wig.
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: jdc
Date: December 13, 2014 11:28PM
I know we have had this discussion before, but some reason I couldn't seem to find it in a search

I say the F-104.



how about a gee bee



or pre-WWI supermarine racer (went on to become spitfire)





----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: For the SR-71 fans here
Posted by: Schpark
Date: December 17, 2014 05:47PM
Quote
Paul F.
Quote
Schpark
I vote for the Warthog.

The Warthog is COOL as all getout... but beautiful? Nope...

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...



"Without death, life would lose much of its meaning. My goal is to live in such a manner that I alter world in some fundamental way before I'm gone. As I get older and watch my son grow I realize I've already achieved my goal." - Ztirffritz
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