posted on Feb, 18 2010 @ 10:26 AM
reply to post by freakyclown
Star and Flag for the excellent pics! Thank you.
Another bit of SR-71 trivia for the fans of this remarkable aircraft:
On September 13, 1974 I was on duty as an Air Traffic Controller at Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) located in Palmdale, CA.
As such I was a "witness" to the final leg of the SR-71 speed record run from London to Los Angeles. The officially recorded time of the trip was 3
hours 47 minutes 35.8 seconds, or 1,435.587 mph.
A few weeks later the crew for the speed record run came to our facility to brief us on the record breaking flight and present our facility with a
plaque commemorating our participation in the flight. During the briefing, the aircraft commander revealed that, unknown to the general public, they
were required to refuel 3 times during the flight. That involved locating the tanker, descending to it's altitude, slowing to refueling speed,
refueling and then climbing back to altitude. Their actual cruising speed was much higher than the "average" speed reported in the press. I have
personally measured (via radar) speeds in excess of 5000 mph during "normal" flight operations for the SR-71.
Additionally, this crew brought along a film produced by Lockheed of a YF-12A (the earlier, interceptor, version of the SR-71) launching a missile at
altitude. The camera was apparently mounted at the aft end of the weapons bay near the top and was pointed down at the missile. As the weapons bay
door opened, the missile was outlined by the blue glow of the upper atmosphere. As the missile dropped clear of the aircraft the motor, when ignited,
produced no visible tail flame but rather the 170' shock wave that we had seen when the LEM's lifted off from the moon. The missile then tilted
down at about 45 degrees and disappeared from sight revealing the clearly visible curvature of the earth against a black sky. When asked about the
altitude of the missile test, they replied (with a straight face), "60,000 feet. Wink Wink!"
Again, thanks for the pics and the trip down memory lane.