Is the Lockheed Black Bird still in use?

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posted on Jul, 5 2006 @ 10:29 PM
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The SR-71 leaked for a reason before take off. There was nothing TO fix about it. On landing the airframe was so hot it had stretched 3 inches or so. There were no fuel bladders that could take the heat, so the airframe was the fuel tank. If they didn't make it so that it leaked, it wouldn't have any room to stretch from the friction.




posted on Jul, 5 2006 @ 10:51 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
The SR-71 leaked for a reason before take off. There was nothing TO fix about it. On landing the airframe was so hot it had stretched 3 inches or so. There were no fuel bladders that could take the heat, so the airframe was the fuel tank. If they didn't make it so that it leaked, it wouldn't have any room to stretch from the friction.


That's where I'm saying that newer technology and developments in composites may hold the answer for this undesired trait. If it's a newer airframe - there's no telling what advancements could have been made - within reason (no cloaking pannels). I know the SR-71 leaked on takeoff because the airframe stretched. That's why I'm also saying that it might be possible to fix with a new technology or material.

Think outside the box, a little.


However, when looking at the picture close-up, the quality of the image is greatly reduced - it could be faked pretty easily with the given resolution.... so, I'll have to reserve judgement on that until a better quality picture is available....

The conditions of the retirement of the SR-71 were rather odd... the plane is suddenly retired with no known replacement, other than the U-2 ... which is not exactly an ideal replacement.... That's what also fueled reports of the Aurora and the credibility thereof.

But it's quite possible that the SR-71 was re-designed..... possibly 'bigger', faster, and meaner than ever before - and once again is cruising over hostile territory.

Hell, I don't know - Santa Clause wanted to play a practical joke so he hid his reindeer inside of a giant SR-71 model for all I know. I'm just rationalizing the continued use of a blackbird.



posted on Jul, 5 2006 @ 10:58 PM
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Originally posted by Aim64C
The conditions of the retirement of the SR-71 were rather odd... the plane is suddenly retired with no known replacement, other than the U-2 ...


And the myriad of spy satellites that the USAF and other departments have up there flying about.



posted on Jul, 5 2006 @ 11:01 PM
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I've heard that cool fact before Zaphod58.


Here's some other neat ones



At maximum output the fuel flow rate in the J58 is about 8,000 gallons per hour and the exhaust-gas temperature is around 3,400 degrees. The J58 required the use of a special AG330 engine starter cart to spool the engines up to the proper rotational speed for starting. The cart was powered by two unmuffled Buick Wildcat V-8 racing car engines which delivered a combined 600 horsepower through a common gear box to the starter drive shaft of the aircraft engines. The J58s had to be spun up to about 3,200 RPM for starting.
Source


I cant believe they needed a twin V8 600hp start cart



From the same source as above about the heat encountered during mach 3+ flight! I've heard some stories about ground crew personnel lighting cigarettes off the skin of the SR71 when it landed after sustained high speed flight.





At the speeds the SR-71 operated, surface temperatures were extremely high due to aerodynamic heating: 800 degrees at the nose, 1,200 degrees on the engine cowlings, 620 degrees on the cockpit windshield. Because of the operating altitudes, speeds, and temperatures, Lockheed designers were forced to work at the cutting edge of existing aerospace technology, and well beyond in many cases. Many features and systems simply had to be invented as they were needed, since conventional technology was inadequate to the task. New oils, hydraulic fluids, sealants, and insulations were created to cope with the ultra-high temperatures the craft would encounter. A new type of aviation fuel, JP-7, was invented that would not "cook off" at high operating temperatures, having such a low volatility and high flash point that it required the use of triethylborane as a chemical ignitor in order for combustion to take place. The fuel itself was rendered inert by the infusion of nitrogen and then circulated around various components within the airframe as a coolant before being routed into the J58 engines for burning.
Source



Now this is pretty cool about how the specially formulated JP7 fuel is used as both a coolant, and hydraulic fluid before being burned as a fuel



It burns an extremely low vapor pressure fuel called JP-7, which was formulated specially for the SR-71. You can put a cigerette out in a dish of JP-7. The fuel is designed to be hard to light because the airframe skin in the vicinity of the fuel tank is 500 - 600 degrees F at cruise. Even worse, the fuel is actually used as the hydraulic fluid in the engine actuators! The idea is, a steady supply of "cool" fluid arrives from the fuel tanks and gets used in hydraulic devices around the engine. Hydraulic fluid in a closed system would soon get as hot as the parts through which it ran - - but this special fluid gets used as fuel before it gets too hot! Afterburner ignition is spectacular, when an ultra-hot flash of Tetra-Ethyl Borane ("TEB") is squirted into the flame holders.Source







[edit on 5-7-2006 by warpboost]



posted on Jul, 5 2006 @ 11:42 PM
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Originally posted by cmdrkeenkid

Originally posted by Aim64C
The conditions of the retirement of the SR-71 were rather odd... the plane is suddenly retired with no known replacement, other than the U-2 ...


And the myriad of spy satellites that the USAF and other departments have up there flying about.


Spy satelites can be tracked by anybody with a radar and a brain to readjust the filters. Even low powered radars can track satelites to the extent of being able to tell when it comes overhead.

And once it comes overhead and you determine its pattern - you can simply hide any nasty little secrets under overpasses or camoflauged netting - or in a building.

A spy plane flies over and it's an "Oh #... they just caught us, didn't they.... and it's already beyond the range of our SAMs....... guess we're going to get a letter from the U.S. asking what the heck is up with this...."

The flight of a plane is unpredictable and comes without a whole lot of warning - another advantage of the SR-71 over the U-2 - it's rate of closure is much higher and gives the enemy less time to track the inbound aircraft and hide their toys.

A satelite may be able to monitor some things - such as abnormal traffic flows, or tank ruts in the mud that have no obvious source (which would be a clue it's time to send in the planes to get a good estimate of what's going on).

Planes work well in combination with satelites - but can never completely replace them. They're an invaluable asset to a coordination - just like the missile will never eliminate the need for an airplane - and the UAV never eliminate the need for piloted aircraft.

People feared that the role of planes would one day make ground soldiers obsolete.... nothing has come close to proving that so far. If you want to take a hill - you still have to place a few feet on it. The planes do a lot of the stuff that soldiers can't do - making their job easier - but it doesn't eliminate their role in the world. Just as missiles won't eliminate the roll of planes, and satelites won't eliminate the role of reconaisance aircraft.



posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 03:24 AM
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ok , here we go again .

GSA :

i have U2Ued you my email addy for a copy of the unedited photo to be sent to

the first questions are :

1 please name the base where your picture was taken .

2 in what direction is the camera man looking -- ie compass bearing -- and position in relation to the hanger / runways etc

a rough sketch would be best

3 are there any other photgraphs availiable from this base ??

TIA - thats all for now


ISJ

posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 03:54 AM
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I'd soo so love this to be true, but alas i am so sceptical; though that bird is clearly flying!

But I'd like to know, was this photograph taken with the blackbird as the primary subject or was the photograph taken with another primary subject and just happened to capture a blackbird flying in the distance.

The blackbird seems very well focused for an object so far away from the UAV's in the foreground and the shutter speed on the camera must of been higher than normally required for a conventional photograph of 'just' the UAV's.

hmmmm

EDIT to say, warpboost's post is very interesting reading about the blackbird


[edit on 6/7/06 by ISJ]



posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 04:31 AM
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I sent a u2u thing to you GSA.... I think.... only after I sent one did I figure out where the rather obviously placed 'send u2u' button was.... so I have no idea if it was formatted correctly.

We really need a better quality shot than the one on photobucket - it has some very heavy color 'lumping' - putting too many colors together into one.

This is partly why the SR-71 looks a little too photogenic there.... because most of the pixels making it up are solid black...... but most of the pixels making up those clumps of leaves are solid colors as well - so ......

I tried running down the markings on the UAVs - WA - the only correlation I have found is that these are the variant of the Predator that carried to AGM-114 Hellfire missiles...... I'll see if I can find more on them. However, I still have yet to figure out what the WA stands for... unless................... there was a UAV on the list called "warrior" ...... I'll go check that one out... standby for report....

Nevermind - Warrior isn't slated until 2007 - so that's not right....... crap.... I wonder if Intelgurl knows anything about the UAV marking system.... I haven't paid that much attention to them.



posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 04:36 AM
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Oh - okay... I think I hit 'paydirt'..... after running around in circles like a mad idiot on the internet....

It was right there in front of me.

MQ-1 Armed Predator

Earliest service 2001

Currently in use today.

I think that lends high probability that this photo is post 1998. Unless there were other Predators that used the same WA marking - if so... damn them.... I've stayed up until 5 AM over this....



posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 08:40 AM
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Ok.

I'm sorry to say this, but as far as I'm concerned the photo is a fake.

Do a standard photoshop invert on it. The inverted colour is pure white, whereas the trees infront and the dark area in the hangar aren't

Do a standard sharpen and the pixellation around the edge of the "Blackbird" shows a maked change in background colour at the edges.

Drop it into greyscale and the image of the "blackbird" is too black.

Objects lose definition at distance, and contrast gets lost. Oddly though - that doesn't appear to be the case in this picture.

Fake.



posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 10:03 AM
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Originally posted by Aim64C
I sent a u2u thing to you GSA.... I think.... only after I sent one did I figure out where the rather obviously placed 'send u2u' button was.... so I have no idea if it was formatted correctly.

We really need a better quality shot than the one on photobucket - it has some very heavy color 'lumping' - putting too many colors together into one.

This is partly why the SR-71 looks a little too photogenic there.... because most of the pixels making it up are solid black...... but most of the pixels making up those clumps of leaves are solid colors as well - so ......

I tried running down the markings on the UAVs - WA - the only correlation I have found is that these are the variant of the Predator that carried to AGM-114 Hellfire missiles...... I'll see if I can find more on them. However, I still have yet to figure out what the WA stands for... unless................... there was a UAV on the list called "warrior" ...... I'll go check that one out... standby for report....

Nevermind - Warrior isn't slated until 2007 - so that's not right....... crap.... I wonder if Intelgurl knows anything about the UAV marking system.... I haven't paid that much attention to them.


Predators with WA code are based at Creech AFB and Nellis AFB- see link with me stood next to one at Creech. Although the training and missions are flown from there the actual aircraft is stationed overseas. Long distance Radio Control!!! The Predators were in service before 2001.

PREDATOR


GSA

posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 10:56 AM
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LMAO @ Ignorant ape -how in hells name am I supposed to know the answers to those ??? hahahahha bloody hell not asking much are you???


Any how, i did get to mail the 7 mb image to all those that asked for it in the u2u - and no ignorant_ape i have absolutely no way of knowing compass bearings ect ! ROFL
..

Any way, you got the pic and i got a giggle from your list, so alls fair



posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 11:07 AM
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Originally posted by GSA
how in hells name am I supposed to know the answers to those ???


You took the picture, didn't you?



posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 03:30 PM
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The MQ-1 Predator, which is depicted in this photo - evidenced by the rails that hold the AGM-114 Helfires was not in active service until 2001. Since there are four in the picture - this tends to lend credibility that the picture is post-1998.

Judging by the position of the SR-71, it's either flying North, North-East or West, South-West - depending upon whether or not the shot is in the morning or evening.

It's pretty hard to tell where the base is.... if it's Nellis or Creech - that would put it on the west coast .... but it could very well be overseas with the predator units. Anyone able to identify the trees in the background as something we can go on? Or anyone know the area?

I'll try color inversions and what-not to see if the black bird is faked or not...... however, I can't say I know exactly what I'm looking for - so I'll get some other pictures of other planes at similar distances and see.

Kinda sucks that we always have to go through this instead of just being able to rely on someone's word... it would be nice if everyone would just behave for once.

Just curious.... what happens if this checks out? What then?



posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 03:38 PM
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Originally posted by Aim64C
Just curious.... what happens if this checks out? What then?


Ricky'll bust into the Oval Office and exclaim, "Bush, you gots some esplainin to do!"


Going by the previous comments in this thread on this picture, I'm leaning towards it being a fake. I think we need to call in the Photoshop Experts here at ATS and see what they have to say.


jra

posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 03:41 PM
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Originally posted by cmdrkeenkid

Originally posted by GSA
how in hells name am I supposed to know the answers to those ???


You took the picture, didn't you?


No she didn't. And GSA, the info is in the file. I'll copy it out.

EXIF Data:

Document Title: 060603-F-9032T-047

Author: Staff Sgt. Tony R. Tolley

Description: MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicles sit on the parking ramp at Balad Air Base, Iraq. The Predator is a medium-altitude, long endurance, remotely piloted aircraft. Its primary mission is interdiction and conducting armed reconnaissance against critical, perishable targets. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Tony R. Tolley)

Description writer: Staff Sgt. Tony R. Tolley

Camera data 1

Make: NIKON CORPERATION

Model: NIKON D2X

Date Time: 2006-06-03T21:15:37-08:00

Shutter speed: ---

Exposure program: Aperture priority

F-Stop: f18.0

Max Aperture value: f2.8

ISO speed rating: 200

Focal length: 17.0mm

Origin

Date created: 6/3/2006

City: Balad AB

Credit: 332nd ECS

Source: Digital

Headline: Predator operations

Instructions: Released by 332nd AEW Public Affairs
DSN: 318-443-6009

Transmission Reference: CENTCOM


Now with that all said and done. I still think it's a fake. I did a little test in PS. I made a black dot about the size of the SR-71 and saved a copy. Opened it up again and all the EXIF data is still there. I think if the changes are small and subtle it won't remove that data.

Another reason I believe it's fake is that the SR-71 is fairly sharp in focus. Yet the trees infront of it look slightly blurred around the edges. Also I'd think the SR-71 wouldn't be so dark. It's should be faded a little bit due to the distance and atmospheric haze.

My 2c anyway.



posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 03:44 PM
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I think you may be referring to the U-2 Dragonlady. The SR-71 is a retired aircraft, and all existing aircraft have ben mothablled with their engines removed and have been "demilitarized".



posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 03:51 PM
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www.af.mil...

More in a moment... Thanks jra for the info you provided that lead to me finding this!!

EDIT:...

image here

The image is too wide, so I don't want to throw off the flow of the thread - hence the link.

It is a screenshot of that website, with the image in question on it.

In the green box is where this image can be found on the link I provided.
In the red box is the approximate area where this image was cropped down to and the SR-71 was inserted.

And for reference, here is the image that GSA provided in this post

Again... Thanks to jra for providing the information that lead to me finding this!!

ANOTHER EDIT:

And GSA got the "full sized" image that she/he/it/alien cropped, edited, etc from here. It's a 5.6 Mb JPG, so be forewarned if you're on dial up.


[edit on 7/6/2006 by cmdrkeenkid]



posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 03:56 PM
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Damnit........

Well, good find.... now someone owes me 12 hours of sleep that I missed....



posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 03:59 PM
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Looking at your image here:


Originally posted by GSA
img523.imageshack.us...


There's seems to be something missing from the original AF pic here:

www.af.mil...

Why would that be?

Are you claiming that SR-71's are flying out of Balad Air base in broad daylight?





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