Did we actually build this

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  • #1
cronxeh
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Almost seems as if this is an alien designed aircraft.. I know.. I know.. I couldn't help but get amazed at this

http://www.military.cz/usa/air/in_service/aircraft/b2_spirit/b2_spirit-1024.jpg [Broken]
:rolleyes:
 
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  • #2
JasonRox
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That's been around since like... ever. :)

I love it too!
 
  • #3
TheStatutoryApe
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You know I've seen the previews for that new movie coming out with the hightech fighter jets. They outfit one with an artificial intelligence and it becomes "self aware". I can't help but laugh out loud every time I see that preview.
 
  • #4
cronxeh
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I agree. Hollywood's IQ levels are dropping with every new technology out there. Back to the topic, though:

SR-71! Where did they even come up with such a blackbody design?

sr71-blackbird-1.jpg
 
  • #5
Pengwuino
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TheStatutoryApe said:
You know I've seen the previews for that new movie coming out with the hightech fighter jets. They outfit one with an artificial intelligence and it becomes "self aware". I can't help but laugh out loud every time I see that preview.

ahahaha i saw that stupid movie trailer!

How does it rearm itself?!?! At some point doesn't the stupdi thing just run out of gas or ammo and the movie ends...
 
  • #6
enigma
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  • #8
Kakarot
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sr71 is the coolest plane there is :D
 
  • #9
russ_watters
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Kakarot said:
sr71 is the coolest plane there is :D
Unquestionably. And what makes it so awesome is that it first flew more than 40 years ago, yet remains utterly unmatched in performance today.
 
  • #10
Townsend
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russ_watters said:
Unquestionably. And what makes it so awesome is that it first flew more than 40 years ago, yet remains utterly unmatched in performance today.

I guess that depends on how you measure performance.
 
  • #11
Danger
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Townsend said:
I guess that depends on how you measure performance.
What I find amusing about the Blackbird is that it's a 'successful failure'. For something that was originally supposed to be a fighter, a 15 mile turn radius turned out to be a little impractical. It certainly makes up for it in other roles, though.
 
  • #12
FredGarvin
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russ_watters said:
Unquestionably. And what makes it so awesome is that it first flew more than 40 years ago, yet remains utterly unmatched in performance today.
Like was already mentioned, it depends on how you define performance. IMO, Kelly Johnson was one of the greatest American minds of the last century.

Back to the OP...it is amazing to see a B2 but to look back at it's roots under Jack Northrop makes you think about just how good engineering was back in that period.
 
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  • #13
FredGarvin
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There are some great books out on the development, testing and flying of the YF-12 and SR-71. One of the most incredible survival stories I read was about a test flight that went bad (the YF-12 had a tendency to break apart in flight) and there was an ejection at mach 2+ and over 80,000 ft. The pilot survived but the back seater didn't.
 
  • #14
brewnog
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Fred said:
One of the most incredible survival stories I read was about a test flight that went bad (the YF-12 had a tendency to break apart in flight) and there was an ejection at mach 2+ and over 80,000 ft. The pilot survived but the back seater didn't.

Ouch. :eek:
 
  • #15
russ_watters
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Townsend said:
I guess that depends on how you measure performance.
Fred said:
Like was already mentioned, it depends on how you define performance.
Danger said:
What I find amusing about the Blackbird is that it's a 'successful failure'. For something that was originally supposed to be a fighter, a 15 mile turn radius turned out to be a little impractical.
The SR-71 was designed for one purpose only: to replace the U-2 spy plane. For that purpose, it needed three things: altitude, speed, and range, with the altitude and speed being by far more important. It remains utterly unmached in both.

After already being concieved as a spy-plane, Lockheed tried to branch out into other roles for it. The interceptor role came next. Please note, an interceptor is not a fighter and turning radius (its far more than 15 miles - closer to 150 miles) is irrelevant when you plan to launch your missiles from 300 miles away at bombers (bombers don't maneuver anyway) and never see your enemy. The primary purpose of an interceptor is to get off the ground fast and meet the enemy far away from friendly territory. In the case of the SR-71, that would have meant intercepting Soviet bombers over the north pole before they could launch their nuclear cruise missiles. It would have made a superb interceptor, for that role.

The third role was as a strategic bomber. For this, it would have replaced the B-1, XB-70 and F-111 for the strategic role of flying nuclear bombs/missiles into the USSR. Both the B-1 and F-111 were ill-suited for their primary purpose (too vulnerable flying just above the tree-tops due to new look-down/shoot-down radars) and the XB-70 was canceled partially because of the SR-71 (rumor has it, anyway). Why build a bomber that flies at mach 1.5 at 100 feet (the B-1 and F-111) or a bomber that flies at mach 2 at 60,000 feet (the XB-70) when you can build one that flies at mach 3 at 85,000 feet (the bomber version of the SR-71, never built)?

Suggested reading: , by Ben Rich (designer of the SR-71 engine inlet and exhausts and directer of Skunk Works during the F-117 development). It chronicles the development of the SR-71 in detail and has some great anecdotes from pilots. Ie, the SR-71's speed was limited only by heat: in one test flight, the airspeed indicator started reading wrong and the pilot noticed it when things around him started melting and throttled back. Radar recordings indicated it had topped mach 4.
 
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  • #16
russ_watters
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FredGarvin said:
Back to the OP...it is amazing to see a B2 but to look back at it's roots under Jack Northrop makes you think about just how good engineering was back in that period.
It was a good idea - way ahead of its time, but the problem is that a flying-wing is about as stable as a frisbee or a piece of paper. With modern computers/avionics its a piece of cake to control today, but back in the '40s the control problem was utterly unsolvable.
 
  • #17
Townsend
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russ_watters said:
with the altitude and speed being by far more important. It remains utterly unmached in both.

Just a nit but what about the space shuttle? Or does that not count?
 
  • #18
Sempiternity
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The X-33 would have been neat.
achieve hypersonic flight speeds (speeds up to Mach 15 or 18,000 km/hr(11,000 mph))
http://www.fas.org/spp/guide/usa/launch/x-33.htm
 
  • #19
russ_watters
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Townsend said:
Just a nit but what about the space shuttle? Or does that not count?
The space shuttle is a rocket, not a jet...
 
  • #20
moose
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I believe that the F-117 looks most alien out of all aircraft.

http://1337moose.com/jets/1.jpg [Broken]
http://1337moose.com/jets/2.jpg [Broken]
http://1337moose.com/jets/3.jpg [Broken]
http://1337moose.com/jets/4.jpg [Broken]
I mean look at that right above this text.....that doesn't look human to me :uhh: :surprised :bugeye: :approve: :tongue:
 
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  • #21
Townsend
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russ_watters said:
The space shuttle is a rocket, not a jet...

You never said it had to be jet powered. :wink:

But yeah, if you stick to jets it wins in those two categories to the best of my knowledge. But to me that is not a good indicator of performance. To me the best indicator of performance is how long the military stays with a certain platform. In that respect the SR-71 was very successful but not the most successful military aircraft.

Regards
 
  • #22
Ivan Seeking
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russ_watters said:
Unquestionably. And what makes it so awesome is that it first flew more than 40 years ago, yet remains utterly unmatched in performance today.

That is to say, as far as the public information goes.
 
  • #23
cronxeh
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Or how about that russian flying saucer, 'EKIP'
http://a1112.g.akamai.net/7/1112/492/2002091473/www.wired.com/news/images/full/inair_f.jpg
3.1.jpg


Probably no new technology there, but at least they've mastered the marketing ploys :biggrin:
 
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  • #24
Ivan Seeking
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Aurora?

http://www.fas.org/irp/mystery/aurora-s.jpg

Reports of plans for a high-performance piloted replacement for the SR-71 date back more than a decade. In 1979 it was reported that a:<41>

"... Mach 4, 200,000-ft.-altitude aircraft that could be a follow-on to the Lockheed SR-71 strategic reconnaissance vehicle in the 1990s has been defined by the Air Force Aeronautical Systems Division and Lockheed."

As previously noted, reports of the existence of a successor to the SR-71 surfaced repeatedly during the debate over termination of the SR-71. Subsequent observations of mysterious aerial phenomena have been connected with the 1988 reports that Aurora was a Mach 6 stealthy reconnaissance aircraft that was being developed to replace the SR-71.<42>[continued]
http://www.fas.org/irp/mystery/aurora.htm

There is some evidence that a pulse detonation engine is used.

Edit: Some of the more extreme scuttlebutt suggests that it can achieve low orbit.
 
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  • #25
russ_watters
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Not that he would tell the truth if it existed, but according to Ben Rich, "Aurora" was a code name for the B-2 (one of many) and the only actual official mention of it ever was that one budget line-item described in the link. Rich describes the demise of the SR-71 with some bitterness.

Besides - we have two replacements for the SR-71 already in service.
 
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  • #26
Ivan Seeking
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You never know. But what's in a name anyway? :biggrin:
 
  • #27
Ivan Seeking
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Post edit to Russ. It would [could] make sense to have a long range bomber, or other things, capable of being anywhere in the world in two hours.
 
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  • #28
Ivan Seeking
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An interesting aside that may or may not have anything to do with the conversation, but the folks at NORAD [Cheyenne Mountain] are now called the Air and Space Command. This was mentioned in an above board interview with people at NORAD.
 
  • #29
Pengwuino
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I remember some people saying that there was a aircraft in developtment (secret, conspiracy ship hehehe) that could hold like, a large number of tanks and go into orbit and land in any city on Earth in an hour or two. It was given the name of "Big Black Delta" by the conspiracy dudes. I read it a looooooong time ago so if there were any clues of crackpottery in the discussion, i probably wouldn't have caught onto them.
 

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