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  #21  
Old 10-13-2009, 01:03 PM
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FWIW, there is an unintentional IMHO confirmation of the SR-71's actual operational atitude limits as well, but in a different book.

"Beyond the Secret Missions" by Paul Crickmore (an ex-ATC in the UK) is almost as good as Brian Schul's book, but for 1/10 the price.

A large section of the work is devoted to the initial development of the A-12, YF-12, SR-71 series, as well as the operational use of the A-12, which as you may or may not know was the exact same thing as the SR-71, except, instead of having the second crew member, it had electronic gear in it's place, and just one poor pilot who must have been very busy, according to the anecdotes from the statements in his book by those who flew over North Korea, China and North Vietnam in Operation Oxcart, amongst others.

It regularily operated between 85,000 - 90,000' for extended periods of time..........at Mach 3.1 - 3.3......
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  #22  
Old 10-13-2009, 08:31 PM
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I always remember flying in Northern California in the late 80s and hearing the controller, on more than one occasion, say "Aspen two zero, upon entering controlled airspace, descend and maintain flight level four five zero." For those who don't know, controlled airspace stops at 60,000 feet, so they were coming down from above that altitude.

I guess above 60,000 feet, you can do whatever you want.

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Originally Posted by Kds View Post
FWIW, there is an unintentional IMHO confirmation of the SR-71's actual operational atitude limits as well, but in a different book.

"Beyond the Secret Missions" by Paul Crickmore (an ex-ATC in the UK) is almost as good as Brian Schul's book, but for 1/10 the price.

A large section of the work is devoted to the initial development of the A-12, YF-12, SR-71 series, as well as the operational use of the A-12, which as you may or may not know was the exact same thing as the SR-71, except, instead of having the second crew member, it had electronic gear in it's place, and just one poor pilot who must have been very busy, according to the anecdotes from the statements in his book by those who flew over North Korea, China and North Vietnam in Operation Oxcart, amongst others.

It regularily operated between 85,000 - 90,000' for extended periods of time..........at Mach 3.1 - 3.3......
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  #23  
Old 10-14-2009, 01:25 PM
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There is also a story is one of the books along the same lines where an SR asks for clearance to 60,000' and the new to the job ATC guy says "sure if you can make it that high"....whereupon the SR says, "actually, we are coming down".
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  #24  
Old 10-14-2009, 11:22 PM
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There is also a story is one of the books along the same lines where an SR asks for clearance to 60,000' and the new to the job ATC guy says "sure if you can make it that high"....whereupon the SR says, "actually, we are coming down".
Great story. Guess he sort of put him in his place.
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  #25  
Old 10-14-2009, 11:28 PM
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Great story. Guess he sort of put him in his place.
I surmise from your handle that you fly a 777 for UAL. If I'm correct, you are flying the WGA, the World's Greatest Airplane. And I know that for a fact.
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  #26  
Old 10-27-2009, 10:32 AM
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A lot of pics on the NASA site.
http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/Gallery/Photo/SR-71/index.html
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  #27  
Old 10-27-2009, 09:44 PM
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Great stories!

A friend of mine was a SR-71 pilot. He said they took off with full fuel but the fuel tanks leaked so much at low speeds due to being designed to withstand the planes thermal expansion and it burned so much on takeoff they would then refuel before going supersonic. The problem was the stall speed of the SR-71 was higher than the max speed of the tanker plane. What they had to do was put the tanker in a dive from high altitude and then the SR-71 would hook up on the descent.
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  #28  
Old 10-27-2009, 10:52 PM
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Great stories!

A friend of mine was a SR-71 pilot. He said they took off with full fuel but the fuel tanks leaked so much at low speeds due to being designed to withstand the planes thermal expansion and it burned so much on takeoff they would then refuel before going supersonic. The problem was the stall speed of the SR-71 was higher than the max speed of the tanker plane. What they had to do was put the tanker in a dive from high altitude and then the SR-71 would hook up on the descent.
This is the same thing that the B-47's did with the KC-97's in 1953 and thus the 367-80 ,KC-135 and compatible refueling scenarios.
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  #29  
Old 10-27-2009, 10:56 PM
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I surmise from your handle that you fly a 777 for UAL. If I'm correct, you are flying the WGA, the World's Greatest Airplane. And I know that for a fact.
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And I worked on its design, with a whole lot of other engineers, in Renton from 1991 thru 1993. (The engineers moved to Everett afterwards.)

I wish I could fly in 777s more often, but there are few in use domestically. I have more success in finding the other airliner I worked on the design of, the 767.
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  #30  
Old 10-27-2009, 10:58 PM
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Great stories!

A friend of mine was a SR-71 pilot. He said they took off with full fuel but the fuel tanks leaked so much at low speeds due to being designed to withstand the planes thermal expansion and it burned so much on takeoff they would then refuel before going supersonic. The problem was the stall speed of the SR-71 was higher than the max speed of the tanker plane. What they had to do was put the tanker in a dive from high altitude and then the SR-71 would hook up on the descent.
And you couldn't walk under one after it returned from a flight for the same reason! A regular flying sieve. Fortunately the flash point of the fuel was such that I heard that you could throw a lighted match into a puddle of it on the ground and nothing would happen.
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  #31  
Old 10-28-2009, 12:03 AM
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And I worked on its design, with a whole lot of other engineers, in Renton from 1991 thru 1993. (The engineers moved to Everett afterwards.)

I wish I could fly in 777s more often, but there are few in use domestically. I have more success in finding the other airliner I worked on the design of, the 767.
And I worked with you on both but unfortunately I never met you. I worked on all the jets from the B-52 to the 777 less the odd numbered 737 and 757 because I was working on the 747 and 767 at the time. It amazes me that the engineering staff of both Airbus and Boeing haven't been able to design something to beat the performance of the 737. They just tweek it a little bit and beat back anything that confronts it. Amazing little airplane! And to think, at one time they were going to dump the program. I have no faith or attachment to the 787 thing. It is not a Boeing product like the 777 was. When I look back at the coordinated effort of the Design Build Teams that we conducted with the customer reps and the IN-HOUSE manufacturing teams I know that we did the right thing. They *****ed about the high cost of the initial run of airplanes but it is now paying off. The 777 is one of the a great ones if not the greatest.
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  #32  
Old 10-28-2009, 12:03 AM
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Back during the Vietnam war I was sitting at my air intercept control console in CIC of the Guided Missile Frigate (USS Wainwright DLK 28). We were running NORSAR off the coast of Haiphong. We had several sorties up and around Hanoi and I was just keeping an eye on things. One of the other controllers onboard told me to look further north on my screen and tell me what I saw. We had an unknown object flying at over 70,000 feet at slightly below mach 3. We had been able to pick it up on the AN/SPS 48 long range air search radar.

The other controller reported it as a missile but then it changed course and took about 100 miles to make a wide sweeping fast turn and head directly back south again. We watched it for about three minutes while it made a few more turns. About that time we received a command to drop track on the object and to discontinue tracking it. We found out later it was an SR-71 snapping pictures..............First and only time I ever got to track one on radar. It was quite a thrill........
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  #33  
Old 10-28-2009, 10:16 AM
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What I find to be so interesting is that the Blackbird is, essentially, a 50-year old plane. But, it was so amazingly advanced at that time that even today it's impressive. It makes me wonder why we aren't pushing the engineering limits. I'm sure I'm glossing over a whole host of more recent aeronautical achievements, but the truth seems to be that we (as in humans) haven't produced any plane that's equally or more capable than the Blackbird.

I'm sure economics has a lot to do with it, but any comments are welcome. I've heard much talk about scramjet technology, but nothing's here, yet. Moreover, satellites have obviated the Blackbird in many applications. So, was the Blackbird THE apex of aeronautical technology? Or, will we see even more fantastic planes in the future?

CW
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  #34  
Old 10-28-2009, 11:01 AM
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It's true that when you look at a century of aviation and compare the first 50 years to the last 50, the development curve has leveled off considerably, notwithstanding the recent advances made in stealth technology, avionics, composite construction, etc.

In the first 50 years (44 to be exact), we went from the Wright Brothers' first powered flight to supersonic. To me, that is just staggering.

Last edited by dinodan; 10-28-2009 at 11:07 AM.
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  #35  
Old 10-28-2009, 11:47 AM
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There may be more fantastic planes already in existence:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora_(aircraft)

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Originally Posted by CornersWell View Post
What I find to be so interesting is that the Blackbird is, essentially, a 50-year old plane. But, it was so amazingly advanced at that time that even today it's impressive. It makes me wonder why we aren't pushing the engineering limits. I'm sure I'm glossing over a whole host of more recent aeronautical achievements, but the truth seems to be that we (as in humans) haven't produced any plane that's equally or more capable than the Blackbird.

I'm sure economics has a lot to do with it, but any comments are welcome. I've heard much talk about scramjet technology, but nothing's here, yet. Moreover, satellites have obviated the Blackbird in many applications. So, was the Blackbird THE apex of aeronautical technology? Or, will we see even more fantastic planes in the future?

CW
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  #36  
Old 10-28-2009, 02:06 PM
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Finally had a chance to read through the whole thread. Great stories all around. Another excellent thread!

Regarding donv's Wikipedia URL: For some reason, the correct URL doesn't post properly here but adding that closing parenthesis in the address bar will make it work if you tried clicking on the link (or, just copy paste the whole URL into the address bar).
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  #37  
Old 10-28-2009, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by John B View Post
Great stories!

A friend of mine was a SR-71 pilot. He said they took off with full fuel but the fuel tanks leaked so much at low speeds due to being designed to withstand the planes thermal expansion and it burned so much on takeoff they would then refuel before going supersonic. The problem was the stall speed of the SR-71 was higher than the max speed of the tanker plane. What they had to do was put the tanker in a dive from high altitude and then the SR-71 would hook up on the descent.
I had heard the rumor that the takeoff fuel was of a different formula from the cruise fuel as well.
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  #38  
Old 10-28-2009, 03:18 PM
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Thanks-- and sorry, now it's too late to edit!

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Originally Posted by SilverF20C View Post
Finally had a chance to read through the whole thread. Great stories all around. Another excellent thread!

Regarding donv's Wikipedia URL: For some reason, the correct URL doesn't post properly here but adding that closing parenthesis in the address bar will make it work if you tried clicking on the link (or, just copy paste the whole URL into the address bar).
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  #39  
Old 10-28-2009, 04:03 PM
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Thanks-- and sorry, now it's too late to edit!
No worries, no fault of your own! I even tried test posting it and it would drop the closing parenthesis from the live link. Go figure...
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  #40  
Old 10-29-2009, 03:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donv View Post
There may be more fantastic planes already in existence:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora_(aircraft)
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverF20C View Post
Finally had a chance to read through the whole thread. Great stories all around. Another excellent thread!

Regarding donv's Wikipedia URL: For some reason, the correct URL doesn't post properly here but adding that closing parenthesis in the address bar will make it work if you tried clicking on the link (or, just copy paste the whole URL into the address bar).
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverF20C View Post
No worries, no fault of your own! I even tried test posting it and it would drop the closing parenthesis from the live link. Go figure...
Should be fixed now.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora_%28aircraft%29
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