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Origionally posted by FredT:
sminkey, I believe the super secret material they looked at was called un-obtainium
Interestingly, several websites [42,43] have claimed (through published reports) that the SR-71 flew upwards of Mach 3.5 and that the Skunk Works performed studies to see how fast the SR-71 could actually fly. The websites cited the limiting factors to be the interaction of the nose conical shock with the inlet spike and the heat load on the airframe past Mach 3.5. However, these published reports were never located and the modifications of the inlet (if any) are not known to the author. Additionally, declassified CIA reports indicate that the maximum speed obtained by the SR-71 was actually Mach 3.29 . Note that previously mentioned NASA reports said that the inlet Mach number was generally 3 percent less than the flight Mach number. Three percent less than Mach 3.29 is Mach 3.2.
Originally posted by Shadowhawk
Perhaps the author of the master's thesis didn't try very hard to find the Lockheed reports.