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google earth SR71 and something else?

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posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 02:19 PM
sorry if this has already been posted!



am i right in thinking that the aircraft in the bottom pic are SR71's?

has anyone got any idea what the aircraft in the top pic are?

once again, my appologies if this has been posted before!

posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 02:20 PM
The bottom ones are definitely sr71's but I don't think the top ones are.

I'll check it out at home.

posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 02:21 PM
definately SR-71s in the lower photo. (Note the distinctive "boat tail")

the upper picture appears to be of a trio of drones. I think they're designated D-21

Actual usage of those drones was met with iffy results at best, and may have led to the loss of one of the blackbirds.

*edit* yup, I got the designation right.
D-21 Drones

[edit on 9-1-2006 by Travellar]

posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 02:26 PM
im not sure how old the image is though.

is the SR71 still in service today? i thought it had been replaced with newer aircraft?

i must admit, when i first saw the image i immediately thought 'aurora' lol

maybe not huh?

posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 02:26 PM

Originally posted by Travellar
Actual usage of those drones was met with iffy results at best, and may have led to the loss of one of the blackbirds.

They are the D-21 drones and they were reponsible for the loss of one fo the M-21's. As the D-21 launched at altitude and was moving through the M-21's shockwave, it suffered an unstart and crashed back into the mothership. Both the pilot and backseater were able to get out of the a/c, but Ray Torrick (depending on which account either opened his visor and sunk, or a clip failed) and was killed.

The video of the crash can be seen here:

posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 03:46 PM
Those pictures were obviously taken sevral years ago, before the SR-71s departed NASA Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) for permanent museum display.

The upper picture shows three D-21B drones. Following the D-21/M-21 accident, all remaining D-21s were converted to D-21B configuration for launch from a B-52H. Those D-21Bs that were not expended in test or operational missions were placed in storage at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona.

On 1 June 1994, two D-21B drones (articles 525 and 529) were delivered to NASA Dryden inside a C-17A (USAF serial no. 89-1189) from the Aircraft Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARC) at Davis-Monthan. The next day, two more drones (articles 513 and 537) were delivered to Dryden inside the same C-17A. The total cost of the delivery service for all four drones was $1.00.

513, 529, and 537 were later borrowed by Northrop-Grumman and then returned to DFRC in 1998. They are currently in storage on the edge of the lakebed near the Space Shuttle area. 525 was loaned to Blackbird Airpark in Palmdale, California on 14 October 1994.

Lockheed article # 513 / AMARC # DA013
Lockheed article # 525 / AMARC # DA010
Lockheed article # 529 / AMARC # DA015
Lockheed article # 537 / AMARC # DA007


posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 03:48 PM
OK.. So could the Blackbirds be used for speed testing to .. keep up with new air craft being tested? So to speak.. Chase planes?

posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 03:52 PM
All SR-71 airframes have been retired. The last flight took place in 1999. NASA has used a number of Blackbirds for research over the years.

The joint NASA/USAF YF-12 research program flew three aircraft: YF-12A (60-6935), YF-12A (60-6936), and YF-12C (61-7951 / NASA 937). The YF-12C was actually the second SR-71A, but with a tail number (06937) borrowed from an A-12 (60-6937) then in storage at Lockheed’s facility in Palmdale. The NASA program with the aircraft lasted from 1969 to 1979. YF-12A (60-6935) made 146 flights in ten years. It was transferred to the USAF Museum in Dayton, Ohio on 7 November 1979. YF-12A (60-6936) made 62 flights in 1970 and 1971. It was lost in a non-fatal mishap on 24 June 1971. The YF-12C made 90 flights from 1971 and 1978. It was placed in storage at the Lockheed Palmdale facility, and eventually transferred to the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, Arizona.

NASA crews flew four Lockheed SR-71 airplanes between July 1991 and October 1999. They were used for research and to support the U.S. Air Force reactivation of the SR-71 for reconnaissance missions. The Air Force had retired the Blackbirds in 1990, but Congress reinstated funding for additional flights. Lockheed SR-71A (61-7980 / NASA 844) arrived at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center on 15 February 1990. It was placed into storage until 1992. It served as a research platform until October 1999. SR-71A (61-7971 / NASA 832) arrived at Dryden on 19 March 1990. It departed to Lockheed Palmdale on 12 January 1995, having never been flown by NASA crews at the Center. It was flown by NASA crews at Palmdale in support of the SR-71 Reactivation. SR-71A (61-7967) was flown by NASA crews only at Palmdale in 1995 and 1996 in support of Reactivation. Steve Ishmael and Rod Dyckman flew two functional check flights in Lockheed SR-71B (61-7956 / NASA 831) at Palmdale in early July 1991 before delivering the aircraft to Dryden on 25 July. The SR-71B trainer served as a research platform and for crew training and proficiency until October 1997.

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