SR-71 Intercepted 169 Times

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posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 01:19 AM
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We are all assuming that the published speed and altitude of the SR-71 is the actual speed and altitude. I got to speak to a retired SR-71 pilot on a couple of occasions (lived in the town I lived in at the time). He said that they never flew it as fast as the engines would take it, because they started worrying about the friction and stress on the airframe.

I asked him about the rumors I had heard that the actual speed was Mach 3.8+ at an altitude of 100,000 feet+. He just smiled and said, "well on a couple of occasions we outran SAMs".




posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 10:11 AM
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The performance characteristics of the Blackbirds have been completely declassified.

Mach 3.32 is the design cruise speed, but maximum allowable Mach number was dependent on outside air temperature and its effect on compressor inlet temperature (CIT). The pilot was authorized to accelerate to Mach 3.3 as long as CIT did not exceed 427 degrees Centigrade. Speeds exceeding Mach 3.3 were occasionally recorded, but generally the pilot tried to avoid this area of the performance envelope because it placed excessive thermal stress on the airframe.

Some maximum speed milestones:
YF-12A, 1 May 1965, Mach 3.14 (2,070 mph)
A-12, 8 May 1965, Mach 3.29 (2,171 mph)
SR-71A, 28 July 1976, Mach 3.32 (2,193 mph)

The Blackbirds were designed to cruise at 85,000 feet with a useful fuel load and reconnaissance package. Because the A-12 was 20,000 pounds lighter than the SR-71, it had an altitude capability about 3,000 feet higher than that attained by the SR-71 at any given point in a flight profile for missions of the same range.

Some maximum altitude milestones:
YF-12A, 1 May 1965, 80,257 feet
SR-71A, 1968, 89,650 feet
A-12, 14 August 1965, 90,000 feet

In 1975, Lockheed studied the possibility of expanding the flight envelope of the SR-71 with some modifications. The results of several studies concluded the maximum speed limit could be extended to Mach 3.5 for short periods of time. The only structural limit to speeds above Mach 3.5 was a KEAS (knots equivalent airspeed) limit of 420, set by inlet duct pressures and temperatures that exceeded acceptable values. Limited inlet capture-area and excessive engine CIT also limited operation at higher Mach numbers, even with proposed modifications.

Similar studies addressed the possibility of achieving flights well above 85,000 feet. results indicated the SR-71 could briefly reach an altitude of about 95,000 feet in a zoom-climb profile. The proposed mission could have been accomplished with an airplane having a gross-weight of 85,000 pounds. According to the flight profile, the pilot would accelerate from Mach 3.2 to 3.5 at an altitude of 80,000 feet, then zoom to 95,000 feet as speed decreased to normal cruise mach numbers. The airplane would subsequently settle back down to an altitude of about 84,000 feet. Sustained flight above 85,000 feet was limited by wing surface-area and engine thrust capabilities.



posted on Sep, 1 2007 @ 02:08 PM
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If you want some REALLY good information on the Blackbird I suggest both Sled Driver and The Untouchables by Brian Schull. Mr Schull is a retired SR-71 pilot who writes about a few of his adventures flying the SR. If I remember correctly in 1986 over Libya doing a post strike recon he was going a good clip faster than the published all time speed record that has been put in the books. It's been awhile since I read the books though so I can't remember the exact speed he was flying at.

As for the SR never having a missile fired at it, that's not true. It had dozens of missiles shot at it, and it appears that one was even damaged by a missile exploding near it. The crew didn't even know it until they landed though. They found a few small holes in the engine cowling on the post flight walkaround.



posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 02:04 PM
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I have read both books. In fact when I worked at the US SpaceCamp's aviation challenge site in Atwater, CA on the old Castle AFB, the on site facility i lived at (an old BOQ) was about a stones throw from the SR71 that Shull flew over Libya, as it is on display at the Castle Air Museum, where I gave tours. I met Schull briefly, although the pilot I mentioned (I don't recall his name) owned a sandwich shop in town. Both great guys.



posted on Sep, 3 2007 @ 11:04 AM
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I guess it would be a hard plane to shoot down due to it being made from Titanium and all.



posted on Sep, 3 2007 @ 11:06 AM
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Originally posted by tomcat ha
I guess it would be a hard plane to shoot down due to it being made from Titanium and all.


That would not be a problem to a missile.



posted on Sep, 5 2007 @ 08:15 PM
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Intercept a SR-71......that is hilarious.....this is more Russian hot air and chest beating...they couldn;t stopa Cessna from landing in Red Square.....please.

Do you have any idea how fast the detect-track-intercept-fire cycle has to be to successfully intercept something traveling at MACH 3+ ??

If the Russians have successfulyl interecpted SR-71s where is the shot down wreckage.....I guess that Korean airliner is their idea of a intercept done right...good job Ruskies!



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 01:53 PM
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Let me StellarX this guy:





Originally posted by JanZizka
Intercept a SR-71......that is hilarious.....this is more Russian hot air and chest beating...they couldn;t stopa Cessna from landing in Red Square.....please.


And the same Cessna could have conducted an emergency landing on the lawns of the WhiteHouse at the time without anyone being the wiser!




Do you have any idea how fast the detect-track-intercept-fire cycle has to be to successfully intercept something traveling at MACH 3+ ??


If you've read the thread then apparently the soviets did have an idea or two; and some feel they worked!
Esp when detection ranges are extensive and round the clock CAP provides airborne or zero scramble assets at a moments notice.



If the Russians have successfulyl interecpted SR-71s where is the shot down wreckage.....I guess that Korean airliner is their idea of a intercept done right...good job Ruskies!


Yea so is Gary Powers..



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 05:41 PM
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reply to post by Daedalus3
 


My fingers are just itching to do copious amounts of copying and pasting but frankly i have better things to do than argue with the type of people who think the USSR could not send up sufficient numbers of Mig-25's/31's to make it rain 'exotic' metals as long as the US were willing to forge em.

Given a two missile load out and a assumed write off of both engines these Mig's could climb to 70 000 feet in 2 minutes accelarate to mach 3-3.2 while climbing to 80 000 and stay there at that speed for the minute it would take to engage the Blackbird. The mere suggestion that these interceptions ( brief 'escorts' to show the capability) could not or were not made is simply daydreaming and i wonder why the mindless chest thumping must take place in defense a of unarmed plane when the USSR build more than 1500 planes that could fly almost as fast AND carry missiles at mach 2.8 intercepts.

Why not rather hang your collective heads in shame and ask why the US government did not deploy the Mach 3 class ARMED interceptors they could have built at the time?

Bah!

Stellar



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 11:09 PM
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Daedaleus,

First of all, yes I did read the thread and NOTHIGN in it confirms what to me is Russian bravado. If somebody can find some shred of hard evidence to present in here, then by all means lets see it.

Also, you make reference to Gary Powers, he was flying an aircraft with just a slightly different flight profile than an SR-71 and that slow U-2 managed to overfly quite a bit of Russian terriotory before they shot it down.

If you want to go on record here as saying what the Russians are claiming is FACT, by all means go ahead.

Qute from Alexander Zuyev, MIG-29 pilot who defected (with his airplane: "The last PVO Su-15 regiment at Gudauta was transferred to Anadir in the Artic in only three days, after an American SR-71 overflew Soviet Far East."...so overflights did happen.

Thanks....StellarX me some more.....



posted on Sep, 7 2007 @ 01:39 AM
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Originally posted by JanZizka
Qute from Alexander Zuyev, MIG-29 pilot who defected (with his airplane: "The last PVO Su-15 regiment at Gudauta was transferred to Anadir in the Artic in only three days, after an American SR-71 overflew Soviet Far East."...so overflights did happen.


Read that again. A fighter regiment was transferred in because a Blackbird overflew an area without cover [even if the extract is accurate].




If a Blackbird is in international airspace, the Soviets will not (and thus did not) shoot it down. That is the reason there is no wreckage littering the landscape.



posted on Sep, 7 2007 @ 08:01 AM
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Originally posted by StellarX

Why not rather hang your collective heads in shame and ask why the US government did not deploy the Mach 3 class ARMED interceptors they could have built at the time?

Bah!

Stellar




huh? Well I would guess that it was deemed that if they flew the SR-71 or A-12 in a profile that allowed it to be changed to out run or reposition its self out and away from fighters they deemed that the weapons system and weapons weight would be more of a slow down and when slowed down it would have to use it. So when you use it you have dead russians or americans. better just to stay faster and get your recon.



posted on Sep, 7 2007 @ 11:32 AM
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reply to post by StellarX
 


Stellar, the whole point of the Sr-71 was sideways looking surveillance so it did not need to fly very far into the Soviet Union. Even if it did, it would be extremely difficult to get a hit at.

The R-40 travells at Mach 4.5 and the R-33 travells at Mach 3.5. Hardly a speed advantage of Mach .8 and .3 respectively is enough to successfully intercept a target travelling at Mach 3.2 unless it's a direct, headon engagement, which even then, would be difficult for the missile since I have doubt they're designed for a Mach 8 closing rate at 80 000 feet.

A-12 probably.
Sr-71, maybe, a big maybe.

Personally I do not see the point of wasting recources and blowing engines to demonstrate an ability that isn't needed. The Sr-71 could be seen by radar over an hour before it came close to an area, perfectly adequate time to cover up and or stop the area that is going to be photogrgaphed. Spy satellites routinely flew over the Soviet Union very often and taking the above into consideration I think Spy satellites made the Sr-71 abit redundant.

The reason the YF-12A did not come to light, was because it would quiet obviously be useless for anything else other than high altitude, fairly long range intercepts and Russia did not have a plane comparable to the B-70 or the Blackbird. If they had built a Mig-31, then that would of been great, but they didn't. Now, the only aircraft that can mildly be abled to shoot down the Mig-31, is the F-22. Though that is also a big maybe, and of course, it is a whole other story.

Thanks for reading.

reply to post by Canada_EH
 

The YF-12A successfully launched an AIM-47 missile at an altitude of over seventy thousand feet and a speed at over Mach 3. It hit a B-47 drone dead on.



[edit on 7/9/07 by JimmyCarterIsSmarter]



posted on Sep, 7 2007 @ 12:04 PM
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A far as I now, SR-71s never overflew Soviet territory. And this 169 intercepts is ludicrous. We can say with 100 percent certainty that a Soviet plane never formated on a Blackbird, and for a Soviet plane to have gotten into firing position with a good kill probability, is also very hard.

I have read, but with no corroboration, that a gaggle of Mig-31s managed to swarm an SR-71 and get into a position to cut off an escape, if it had been for real, but I have no proof of it.

Plenty of planes could shoot down a Mig-31. Not sure why you think that it is an invincible plane except for the F-22.



posted on Sep, 7 2007 @ 12:15 PM
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Plenty of planes could shoot down a Mig-31. Not sure why you think that it is an invincible plane except for the F-22.

A plane that cruises at Mach 2.35 for over a thousand miles with extremely long range missiles is hard to shoot down.



posted on Sep, 7 2007 @ 12:23 PM
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Originally posted by JimmyCarterIsSmarter

Plenty of planes could shoot down a Mig-31. Not sure why you think that it is an invincible plane except for the F-22.

A plane that cruises at Mach 2.35 for over a thousand miles with extremely long range missiles is hard to shoot down.


Yes, a plane that could cruise at M2.35 for over a thousand miles would be rahter hard to engage with aircraft.

However, Mig-31 does not have this performance.



posted on Sep, 7 2007 @ 02:20 PM
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Originally posted by JanZizka
Daedaleus,

First of all, yes I did read the thread and NOTHIGN in it confirms what to me is Russian bravado. If somebody can find some shred of hard evidence to present in here, then by all means lets see it.


And you won't get hard facts on it either. What ARE hard facts here anyways? New reports? wreckages?
IF you did read the thread you may have realised that the defintion of an intercept does not result in a flaming wreckage.



Also, you make reference to Gary Powers, he was flying an aircraft with just a slightly different flight profile than an SR-71 and that slow U-2 managed to overfly quite a bit of Russian terriotory before they shot it down.


Yes and so was the Korean Airliner and the Cessna.. my point exactly..
And yes the U-2 did overlfy quite a bit of Russian territory before it got shot and there are reasons for that; none of which include Russian shortcomings,foolishness or inabilities.




If you want to go on record here as saying what the Russians are claiming is FAC, by all means go ahead.


They claim that they intercepted(probable optimum target solution positioning) the SR-71. There is no way to prove or disprove that.




Qute from Alexander Zuyev, MIG-29 pilot who defected (with his airplane: "The last PVO Su-15 regiment at Gudauta was transferred to Anadir in the Artic in only three days, after an American SR-71 overflew Soviet Far East."...so overflights did happen.


ok.. if you would like to infer the above.



Thanks....StellarX me some more.....


My pleasure..



posted on Sep, 7 2007 @ 04:25 PM
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I have no doubt that SR-71s overflew places like Cuba, Libya, North Korea, North Vietnam, etc, but from those who seem to be pretty knowledgable, say that there were no overflights of the USSR. Now they probably went right to the very edge though, and used side looking sensors like Synthetic aperature radar and imaged well into the USSR.

And yes, hundreds of missiles were fired at it, probably over a thousand actually. Only recorded damage was from a small piece of shrapnel.



posted on Sep, 7 2007 @ 05:32 PM
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Originally posted by firepilot
I have no doubt that SR-71s overflew places like Cuba, Libya, North Korea, North Vietnam, etc, but from those who seem to be pretty knowledgable, say that there were no overflights of the USSR.


Those in the know also knowingly lie about what they feel is best for 'national
security.


Now they probably went right to the very edge though, and used side looking sensors like Synthetic aperature radar and imaged well into the USSR.


Right and since the USSR could blind satellites and track the shuttle in flight i am pretty sure the SR-71 never saw much if anything.


And yes, hundreds of missiles were fired at it, probably over a thousand actually. Only recorded damage was from a small piece of shrapnel.


Source please.




Originally posted by firepilot
Yes, a plane that could cruise at M2.35 for over a thousand miles would be rahter hard to engage with aircraft.

However, Mig-31 does not have this performance.


Sure it does and why don't you know that?

Stellar



posted on Sep, 7 2007 @ 05:37 PM
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Originally posted by firepilot
A far as I now, SR-71s never overflew Soviet territory. And this 169 intercepts is ludicrous. We can say with 100 percent certainty that a Soviet plane never formated on a Blackbird, and for a Soviet plane to have gotten into firing position with a good kill probability, is also very hard.

I have read, but with no corroboration, that a gaggle of Mig-31s managed to swarm an SR-71 and get into a position to cut off an escape, if it had been for real, but I have no proof of it.

Plenty of planes could shoot down a Mig-31. Not sure why you think that it is an invincible plane except for the F-22.
All the magazine was saying is 169 times the BlackBird was caught by radar coming towards the S.U. nad 169 times MiG-31's were in the air going towards it, and everytime the BlackBird turned around before the MiG could be in range to shoot, and it headed back the U.S. base it came from.





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