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the green flame

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posted on Nov, 9 2018 @ 05:01 AM
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a reply to: Forensick

Materials would've been too expensive I'd say




posted on Nov, 9 2018 @ 07:41 AM
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a reply to: Woody510

Materials have always been the weak point when it comes to going faster. It's even worse now that we're into hypersonic ranges. They're having to create all new materials that can handle the heat for longer than a few minutes.



posted on Nov, 9 2018 @ 12:59 PM
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originally posted by: Forensick
So why didn’t they make Concorde go faster


The short answer:
The Concorde was a British-French project intended to keep the European airframe manufacturers competitive in the world market for commercial aircraft; at the time the project was initiated (1962) the European industry did not have the technology base for either high-temperature airframes or M=3+ propulsion.

The longer answer:
By the early 1950s, the first generation turbojet powered commercial transport aircraft (DH-106 Comet) was flying and other aircraft manufacturers were planning their own designs to compete (B-707, DC-8, Convair 880, etc.). At the same time, the R&D establishments on both sides of the pond were steadily advancing the understanding of supersonic flight—through the building and testing of X-aircraft, and primarily for use in military aircraft. Because supersonic flight was becoming less mysterious and more tractable, the aircraft establishments on both sides of the pond began studying whether a supersonic passenger carrying transport aircraft might make sense, by the mid- to late 1950s. Some visionaries thought it could make economic sense--as long as fuel costs remained a small fraction of the total operating cost—which was true, at the time.

Meanwhile, on this side of the pond, the US military and intelligence community had been investing in advanced aircraft studies and technology development for national purposes unrelated to commercial transport (nuclear war fighting and strategic reconnaissance). In early 1958, the US actually had two M=3+ airframe projects underway—one was the publicly known X-B70 and the other was the CIA’s covert A-12. Both were high temperature airframes; the XB-70 was stainless steel honeycomb and the A-12 was Titanium. The XB-70 used afterburning turbojets for propulsion and the A-12 used the more efficient turbo-ramjet. Both either studied the use of or actually used Boron-containing high energy fuels. These kinds of designs were possible in the US because the vastly larger investments in defense technologies in the US compared to Europe had pioneered the manufacturing and use of Titanium materials for primary structure and advanced thermodynamic cycle propulsion.

In the early 1960s, US airframe manufacturers were telling Congress that there were no technical reasons why they couldn’t build a supersonic transport (SST), if the nation wanted to undertake that goal. The Europeans thought that there might very well be an impending race to field the first SST, and they didn’t want to be left at the starting blocks. Everyone realized that if SSTs actually were built, there would probably be only a small number ever built because they were more productive due to their higher speed, and also more expensive. Nobody expected that SSTs would service more than a small fraction of the flying public--at least at first. That meant that whoever came to market with an SST first might shut out whoever was second.

The British and French airframe manufacturers had come to this realization independently and also realized they probably did not have the resources individually to fund the development of such an ambitious project. Talks were begun that eventually resulted in a British-French treaty being signed to jointly develop an SST, using European technology. Because the project was established under the umbrella of a bi-lateral treaty, it was originally named Concorde which, in French means “agreement” or “harmony”. Ironically, politicians in both nations began immediately arguing over the name, with the British claiming that a French name was an affront to their dignity and insisting that it be renamed “Concord” (the English spelling of the same word). Apparently, the name went backhand forth several times. At the time, Aluminum was the only airframe material that the Europeans had access to and experience with, so it had to be an Aluminum airframe. That meant that its speed had to be limited to about M = 2 in order to avoid the loss of strength that would result from excessive aerodynamic heating. They sized the turbojet engines such that the aircraft could cruise at M = 2 without afterburner. Afterburners were used primarily to accelerate through M = 1. That made the power plants big and thirsty at low speeds, so in order to be cost-effective, they needed long distance routes where they could operate at steady state cruise for most of the time. Trans-Atlantic routes were perfect.

The Concorde was the first SST to enter commercial service. It beat out the Soviet TU-144 (“Concorski”) by two years, and the TU-144 was so troubled by crashes and budget problems that it only flew about 100 passenger carrying flights before it was retired from service. The US, after beginning its own M = 3 class SST program with government funding in early 1967 (the Boeing 2707) ended up terminating the program only a few years later in 1971, when the Senate refused to provide further government investment.

On the one hand, Boeing was right; at the time the US SST program was terminated, more airlines had secured more delivery positions in the production line that Boeing was promising for their faster airplane than for the Concorde. This reflected the belief that the Boeing design would be more cost-effective. On the other hand, Concorde was right; whoever got to market first was likely to saturate the demand and shut out any competitors. Which they did.

However, by the time the Concorde was flying its routes, the economic calculations had changed. Fuel was a lot more expensive by the mid 1970s and the introduction of the 747 for transoceanic routes pretty much scarfed up most of the traveling public. That pretty much drove a stake through the heart of the SST.



posted on Nov, 9 2018 @ 05:02 PM
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a reply to: 1947boomer

Excellent post! As always, a pleasure to read your contributions. Thank you.



posted on Nov, 9 2018 @ 05:31 PM
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a reply to: 1947boomer

I think in 1958 they were using the somewhat rare Titanium for the A12, by the time I got a look at the Sr 71 about 1964 it was black possibly a carbon composite which they processed with ultrasound? I think this picture was published in the local Palmdale newspaper in 1964 but my memory (for dates) isn't what it used to be.




posted on Nov, 9 2018 @ 05:32 PM
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a reply to: Cauliflower

The A-12 and SR-71 were made from Soviet titanium.



posted on Nov, 9 2018 @ 05:58 PM
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originally posted by: Cauliflower
a reply to: 1947boomer

I think in 1958 they were using the somewhat rare Titanium for the A12, by the time I got a look at the Sr 71 about 1964 it was black possibly a carbon composite which they processed with ultrasound? I think this picture was published in the local Palmdale newspaper in 1964 but my memory (for dates) isn't what it used to be.





Once again, Zaph is spot on. Not only was the A-12/SR-71 primary structure mostly Titanium, but the customer for the airframe (the CIA) played a central role in obtaining enough of the metal--clandestinely, of course--to build their beautiful birds. Because the Soviet Union was the largest producer of Titanium ore, the Agency set up all kinds of elaborate covers, deceptions, and cutouts to obtain mass quantities of the stuff.

When I worked for NASA, I had several opportunities to walk around in the hangar and inspect the SR-71 that was loaned to NASA and stationed at Edwards and poke my finger into various nooks and crannies. The skin of the SR is painted black, but that doesn't mean that it's all made of the same stuff, underneath. For example, the upper and lower wing panels on the aft body that have the the engine nacelles sculpted into them are all Titanium. They are corrugated so that they can expand when they heat up. Those chines that extend forward on both sides of the fuselage and create the distinctive "duckbill platypus" look are formed from a high temperature composite skin formed over what appears to be Titanium tubing underneath. I believe that the composite is made from asbestos fibers embedded in a high temperature resin.



posted on Nov, 9 2018 @ 06:03 PM
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a reply to: 1947boomer

My reading comprehension in 1964 was "Green eggs and Ham" so the the ultrasound processing must have been something like S-Bond where Titanium is soldered to a Sapphire windshield. Can't remember where I read that but I'd love to see a reprint..



posted on Nov, 9 2018 @ 06:35 PM
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Thought the black paint was an early iteration of RAM paint that they developed for the U2.
Yes the utilization of Titanium in construction was a real eye opener for Lockheeds Skunk works.Even stuff like drills had to be specially made for the build.For a good book read ..
archive.org...



posted on Nov, 9 2018 @ 06:46 PM
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a reply to: Blackfinger

The paint was supposed to be an attempt at reducing signature as well as a way to dissipate heat generated by the airframe at Mach 3.



posted on Nov, 9 2018 @ 06:57 PM
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a reply to: Blackfinger

I tried searching for sapphire, utrasound and "ultra sound" came up with nothing, you sure this guy was an insider?
One of my friends that used to be a fighter jet mechanic said he never got close enough to the SR71 to know anything about the sensitive parts. Called the jet fighters over at RAF Bentwaters "rainbows", I think was talking about F16's like this one.




posted on Nov, 9 2018 @ 06:59 PM
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a reply to: Cauliflower

Ben Rich was Kelly Johnson's successor and ran Skunk Works after he retired. You don't get much more insider than that.



posted on Nov, 9 2018 @ 07:56 PM
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originally posted by: Cauliflower
a reply to: 1947boomer

My reading comprehension in 1964 was "Green eggs and Ham" so the the ultrasound processing must have been something like S-Bond where Titanium is soldered to a Sapphire windshield. Can't remember where I read that but I'd love to see a reprint..


I'm pretty sure that the windshields on the SR-71 were quartz, not sapphire, and they weren't soldered or brazed--just set into the frame with pressure tight gaskets.

Sapphire is often used as windows for certain sensors, because Sapphire will pass certain wavelengths of light that other transparent materials won't. In those applications, Sapphire is often soldered or brazed to metals to produce a hermetic seal. I don't know how that would apply to the SR-71, if at all.



posted on Nov, 9 2018 @ 08:15 PM
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a reply to: 1947boomer

The Blackbird would have had camera ports as well as a pilots windshield.
Now that I think about it a little there was a section about a "bug" target that was to be optically tracked.
The ultrasound might have provided a synchronization function for whatever kind of shuttering system they were using.
It was so long ago and I was so young, it was a thin blue bound book probably just an abstract, I do remember that picture of the SR 71 tucked into it.



posted on Nov, 9 2018 @ 09:00 PM
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I wonder if China is working on their own Green Lady right now?



posted on Nov, 10 2018 @ 01:53 AM
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Let's keep the discussion going - if China were to field a Green Lady variant, would the US attempt to shoot it down, intercept it, or ignore it?
edit on 11/10/2018 by Masisoar because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 10 2018 @ 04:03 AM
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a reply to: Masisoar
If China would field a Green Lady variant, they would have a hard time getting it anywhere given their rudimentary refueling capabilities and lack of sutiable air bases abroad.



posted on Nov, 10 2018 @ 05:29 AM
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a reply to: mightmight

There is Korean Origami.
The Chinese might have evolved from Soldering to Brazing SOFC though.



posted on Nov, 10 2018 @ 05:57 AM
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a reply to: Masisoar

Just ignore it I'd guess no need to shoot it down unless it was in US airspace without permission.



posted on Nov, 10 2018 @ 12:48 PM
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a reply to: Blackfinger

This was a very good read.....and Kelly presented very good managmet models.....




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