posted on Aug, 18 2007 @ 09:46 AM
Originally posted by SmokeyJo
Why would the military make it public?
Basically two reasons....
Firstly you have to operate the aircraft in the real world. You can keep it secret for years, but eventually you will want to deploy it somewhere
that you don't have absolute control over who sees it. If memory serves me correctly the SR-71 was officially announced about the time that the US
began deploying them to Britain. So in that case it wasn't because the Russians might have seen it, but that most of the Western world would have
seen it through the eyes of European spotters watching it come and go from British bases.
Secondly, you can attempt to keep everything secret forever. However, politics is all about balance of power. If you go back to when gunpowder was
invented and let's say your enemy had gunpowder. Unless you somehow let your enemy know that you too have gunpowder, he will think you are easy
meat, and that could lead to an 'unnecessary' war that would cost both sides dearly. The same holds true today. You have to let your opponents know
that you have particular types of weapon systems, but you don't tell him the exact details - for instance the full official specification and
capabilities of the SR-71 have never been released - everything that you will read (including on this forum) is a mixture of officially released data
and a whole lot of interpolation and guesswork - not to mention propaganda.
The SR-71 was operational well before it was announced (and this has been confirmed officially), but the B-2 was a very public program, with the
roll-out of the first airframe a very public occasion, but realize that the amount of official information that has been released about the B-2 is
pretty small and fuzzy - once again there has been much interpolation to come up with the 'data' that people are quite willing to throw around as
The fact is that during the cold war, when new Soviet aircraft made their appearance, engineers examined photographs of those aircraft, estimated
dimensions, used those dimensions to calculate the rough power of the engines, which they released (as estimates). Magazines picked up the
information, often converted it from metric to imperial (which accounts for the often odd, apparently exact numbers quoted (like, say, 19,255 lbst - a
direct conversion from say, a round figure in the metric system) and sometimes forgot to mention that the whole thing was based on an estimate in the
The Winged Wombat
[edit on 18/8/07 by The Winged Wombat]