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Legends of the Air .. Part 1 The SR-71 Blackbird

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posted on Mar, 11 2007 @ 06:56 PM
Just a quick note since Ghost mentioned that Ben Rich referred to the D-21's mothership as the "M-12" whereas I called it the M-21:

It was the M-21.

Kelly Johnson decided to reverse the digits (1 and 2) so as to avoid confusion with the A-12. It was a fairly arbitrary decision. The mothership and drone should have been the M-12 and Q-12, but they ended up as M-21 and D-21 (or M/D-21 when mated).

I don't like the 21 designation myself, but we're stuck with it. Lockheed engineering documents use the term M-21.

Some authors (including Rich) mistakenly called it the M-12, leading to continued confusion among researchers. Other instances of poor research or mistaken designations continue to plague us. Examples include:

A-11: The YF-12A (a.k.a. AF-12) was never actually designated "A-11" despite numerous usages of the term in presidential announcements, press releases, commemorative items, etc. Worse still, official USAF inventory records list the A-12 fleet as A-11s.

A-12B: This was not the trainer (Article 124). The sole A-12 trainer variant was designated TA-12. It's in the pilot's flight records. The second A-12 (Article 122) was later upgraded to SR-71 standard and redesignated A-12B in Lockheed engineering reports.

YF-12C: There never was a YF-12C. It was a bogus designation for the second SR-71A (Article 2002) while it was in NASA service. It had no characteristics that differentiated it in any way from any early SR-71A. This airplane was also not a replacement for the YF-12A (Article 1003) that crashed. Article 2002 was supposed to be the third aircraft in the joint USAF/NASA fleet, joining Article 1002 and 1003. Unfortunately, Article 1003 crashed the very same day that a NASA press release announced the addition of a third airplane.

Serial numbers: The myth of a "64" fiscal year prefix in SR-71 serials persists because it ihas been re-published so many times, even by some Blackbird experts. The SR-71 serials have a "61" prefix despite the fact that the first flight took place in late 1964. SR-71 serials run from 61-7950 through 61-7981. All official documentation bears this out.

posted on Mar, 12 2007 @ 05:28 AM
Good Catch Shadowhawk!

Thank you for double checking that. I was pulling the info for a book. maybe I misread it.


posted on Mar, 12 2007 @ 09:29 PM
It was found that titanium is not compatible with chlorine, florine or cadmium. Pentel pens were banned. If you draw a line with a pentel pen on a sheet of titanium, the ink will eat through the titanium in 12 hours.
All cadmium tools were banned too.
Welded panels had to be produced during the winter. All summer panels failed because algae formed from the chlorinated water supply. After that all parts were washed in distilled water. Cadmium plated tools were the cause of bolts failing. When parts were put together with the cadmium plated tools, tiny shreads cadmium were left behind. The parts were heated and the bolts fell off.

It took hot forging and 50,000 tons of pressure to force titanium into desired parts.

Welding was performed in special chambers in a nitrogen gas enviroment
They used iron ball black paint. The tiny iron balls reduced electro-magnetic radiation. They found convective heating became less with higher altitudes. They only worried about radiation. The iron balls emmited the radiation as well.
They used a fuel system to push the cooler fuel to cool the units that provided enviromental air cooling. The system pushed the hot fuel to the engines while the colder fuel was circulated through the aircraft. The air fed into the engine produced more thrust that the actual engine itself

posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 09:48 AM

Bada$$ Blackbird patches for everyone

posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 09:50 AM

An engine nacelle ring being processed using a automatic-tape milling tool (bottom middle of the photo)

[edit on 13-3-2007 by skunkworks82]

posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 09:54 AM

Construction at the Burbank California plant Oct 1964

posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 10:00 AM

Damage report photo of the bombing by US aircraft on Benina Airfield. Taken April 15, 1986. A FMC (forward motion compensation unit) is used to make these sharp pictures @ Mach 3 plus.

A Libyan Airlines Boeing 727-2L5 was damaged in the nose by shrapnel.

posted on Mar, 8 2011 @ 11:04 AM
Very cool Pictures!

I haven't seen this thread until I did a search on Google about the SR-71.

I worked on SR-71s in the air force at Beale AFB between 1983 and 1987.

I loved working on them, it was like working on batman's Jet plane, lol.

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