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Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by bholder, Nov 10, 2018.
Greatest thing I ever read about the Blackbird...the first ones had a mount for a drone that could be sent where it was too dangerous for the SR71. They removed them when they found out there was no such place.
A few years before its final flight I was working on a construction site near the end of the Andrews Air Fore Base in Allentown Md. about a week before the annual air show there. I was a great week for me because every day I got to see the Blackbird involved in the show doing its preliminary test runs for the show. I got to see that sucker about five times at low altitudes that week. Most impressive.
A few years later I was involved in a remodel job at the base and I was talking to one of the guys there about the experience I had watching the Blackbird. He asked if I had actually been to the show that year and I said "no." He laughed and told me that I missed the best part of the week then. When I asked why he told me that during the show the bird got a clearance to make a low run with the afterburners cranked. Shortly there after the base fire department was dispatched to put out the trees on the far side of the base that the plane had set on fire with its afterburners.
The one on display at Udvar- Hazy Museum in WashintonDC made the flight from Los Angeles to Washington in 67 minutes. Coolest aircraft ever built.
Heh, yeah. This story makes its rounds super often. There's a few books with it in it, too.
When i was in Okinawa i’d sometimes go around dusk and sit out on the side of the road than ran past the end of the runway at Kadena and watch the Habu’s leave out. I’ve always been fascinated by flying and have been a big fan of the SR71 from the first time i heard about it.
That plane is simply breathtaking. I've been to Smithsonian Air And Space, as well as Udvar-Hazy, and even though I enjoy the aeronautical arts, that was the only plane to truly leave my mouth agape. I gotta go to the Kalamazoo Air Zoo and check out the one there...
They are fantastic.
A good friend and former band-mate of mine was stationed at Kadena as a meterologist back in the early 90's, he used to be involved in mission planning for the Habus. He had quite a few interesting anecdotes.
The Blackbird was certainly one of the most unique and amazing aircraft designed, the pinnacle of aeronautical engineering and a testament to the genius of Kelly Johnson and his team at the Skunk Works back in the late 50's and early 60's. The fact that even now, over 50 years later, it still holds the official records (I'd be willing to bet real money there's something out there that has outdone it, but we don't know about it - and I'm not being a "tinfoil hat" wearer on that...it's just hard to think otherwise) for speed and height is astonishing.
Lockheed had quite a run with great design from the 40's (P-38, another example of Kelly Johnson being way ahead of other designers) through the early 70's. The L-1011 was one of the best commercial aircraft ever designed but was sadly under appreciated by the industry; the C-130 line is still in production, which is mind-boggling when you realize that the first example of type flew in 1953, and is probably the single most successful design in aviation history. I'm not a pilot (well....not licensed ), but my dad flew the C-130 when he was in the USAF, and the L-1011 as a commercial pilot, he still swears that those are the two best aircraft he ever flew. He also flew the C-121 (military version of the Constellation) and while it was a bit more balky than the -130, loved it from an aesthetic perspective, said it was likely the most beautiful aircraft he ever saw.
Don't forget the U-2. Also from the Skunk Works, and also way outside existing builds.