The SR-71 never made leg specs for range. It was originally supposed to do something like 1,700nm between tankings. It never even got close to
If you can't make distances, you can't penetrate. Because sure as hell, there are NO tankers over central Russia, even in post SIOP rollback
As such, the Blackbird was crap because what it did was little more than what any other _standoff_ platform could achieve with /much/ longer dwell and
on station time (in this, you are looking at 400-600km sensor suites as much as anything else) in much tighter confines of international airspace.
That said, if you want to determine the aircraft's top speed, draw a line from it's pitot to it's outboard engine inlet edges and compare it to a
generic (tunnel)Mach chart for a wedge based airfoil. Ignoring the 'compression front' effect ahead of the jet, if that center shock ever breaks
over the airframe, it's gravetime for gonzo.
Which is why the aircraft 'cruised' as low as Mach 2.68 and /averaged/ around 2.9. Because an unstart (which were common events prior to the
'digital spike' controls) will whip the aircraft through forty degrees of yaw in a heartbeat and if that doesn't disrupt the shock...
As I recall, the form topout on the SR's profile was on the order of 3.8, altitude dependent. Given that almost every 'high altitude' capable
missile the Russians made had a nuclear option and particularly the SA-5 and SA-12 are themselves Mach-5-7 systems here, I doubt /seriously/ if there
was ever any point in the design of Oxcart, from that day in May 1960 when F G Powers 'forgot to take his pill' and Open Skies died on the
If you want an impressive aircraft, look at this one-
Because, in the Tu-123/DBR-1, you had a drone which could sustain Mach 2.68 at 74,000ft for almost 2,000nm. It _operationally_ flew from Western
Russia down the Bothnia/Baltic corridor, across to England and as far south as Spain. And _we could not touch it_.
Using mid-50's design technology with a service debut in 1964.
Indeed, 'we' being NATO, at a time long before Direct Line 'Red Phones' went so far as to publish an article in a known leftist rag publically
'complaining' about these flights destabilizing effects and how the likely response would be Nike Hercules in Europe (i.e. nuclear warheads of our
own, exploding over our own populace, at altitude).
Whenever you hear about the 'mighty MiG-25' and all it's fantastical range@Mach figures as a justification for the F-teen 'Super Fighters', what
you are really hearing about is the Jastreb.
A reusable (ten times, which is all you need in a nuclear tripwire Euro warplan) supercruise drone that weighed half what the SR-71 did, Jastreb
(Hawk) achieved ALL the flight performance variables which the Blackbird /never came close to/ being 'operationally suitable' on.
Furthermore, it was made from fairly cheap materials.
First flew three years before the A-12/Oxcart and out lasted it by almost 12, in service (1968 vs. 1979). If they had rigged it with atomic laydown
options like they originally planned, the Russians would have had absolute nuclear dominance over all of Europe, not unlike Regulus II if not
I swear, people look at aircraft with the same anatomy as responds when a Super Model walks into the room. "Where's the cockpit and can I get in
Never realizing that leading with their organ DECREASES the available military utility, let alone 'wow factor' performance by whole orders of
And Still, A Compass Points North. Snort.