PERSONAL PHOTOS

N O T E : ALL PERSONAL PHOTOS ARE COPYRIGHTED BY THE AUTHOR.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

SR-71 Blackbird

Designed by Kelly Johnson and manufactured by Lockheed Skunk Works and classified as a 'black project', the SR-71 was, and still is, the fastest manned, highest flying reconnaissance plane, equipped only with a sophisticated camera and radar and infrared systems. Missiles or guns for self-defense were a mute issue because this 'Bird' was designed specifically to fly extremely high and with blinding speed. It feared no one; it feared nothing.
The outer shell of the Blackbird was made of titanium, and, therefore, it expanded under extremely high temperatures during flight.  The fuel tanks were designed so they would leak until the aircraft was airborne, and then they would continue to expand until completely sealed.  Because of this, the fuel was nearly expended by the time the aircraft was airborne. 

NOTE: Thanks to one of my visitors for noticing that this is actually an A-12, the forerunner to the SR-71.  It isn't too noticeable in the photo, but the A-12 has only one seat, while the SR-71 has two.  Also found out that the A-12 was faster than the SR-71.  Hard to believe!

SR-71 during an air show:
https://www.youtube.com/embed/70Ikj1hZDnw

The following site has great photos of A-12 and SR-71 (over 850):

Here's a site listing current locations of the A-12 and SR-71:
A-12 Blackbird on display in Mobile, Alabama
 (in the background is WWII submarine USS Drum)



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