Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The SR 71 was at least 60 years ahead of its time.

The question was …is the SR 71 a product of its time? (Time frame would be late 1950s to 1966.)Former U-2 technician Damien Leimback wrote; the following *In my opinion, this man is brilliant.*He Disagrees with the question that the SR 71 was a product of its time.

I disagree because of the technologies that had to be invented or perfected in order for the plane to work that did not exist before the types (I include the A-12 here) introduction.

Here are some examples……

Using titanium in such massive amounts was unheard of in an aircraft; most of it is sourced from the Soviet Union through shell companies. New fabrication methods and new titanium alloys had to be created to build the plane.

Corrugated panels that expanded without changing shape were used in a novel way, as well as new types of glass for the windscreen and new ways of fusing it to the frame without the use of glue (that would melt under high temps) were used.

The fuel was routed through the leading edges of the wings to keep them cool and also to preheat the fuel for a better burn, novel approaches used for the first time on this plane.

The fuel itself was a custom blend and had a radioactive isotope added to it that allowed the ionization to scatter Radar waves in the high atmosphere. C-50 was used to secure the contract for the CIA. it was also called panther pi%s

Oils and lubricants had to be custom blended for the aircraft in order to function at the high and low temp extremes the plane would encounter.

The David Clark company built a pressure suit for the pilots, as the one the U-2 pilots wore was insufficient. The U-2 pilots later adopted the same suit.

The tires had aluminum mixed with latex in order to withstand the temps that would be encountered in the wheel wells during flight.

The J-58 engine was a hybrid of the turbo jet and ramjet, and MOST EFFICIENT at Mach 3.2, unheard of anywhere before or since.

And this is just a small sampling of the technologies that had to be invented or perfected in order for this plane to work. No one else was capable of flying anything like it in the 1960’s and its performance has yet to be matched today, almost 60 years later. If that's not ahead of it's time, I don't know what is.

Posted by Linda Sheffield Miller

No comments: