lockheed_sr-71_blackbird2 The Lockheed SR-71, better known by its unofficial nickname Blackbird was a U.S. strategic reconnaissance plane that served from 1966 until November 22, 1989, when all samples were placed and the land due to the deletion of funds for the usage. During his career, the SR – 71 broke some records, such as greater speed ever achieved by a plane (3.530 kilometers / h) and maximum height (almost 26.000 meters). The SR-71 Blackbird, was developed to “Groom Lake”, better known as Area 51. Currently there are more models still in business because of the very high costs. After the end of the Cold War was no longer done no research to improve it. It was akin to YF-12A, an interceptor such as forms and performance. On March 6, 1990,the SR-71 Lockheed beat any speed records for the leg from Los Angeles to Washington Dulles.


80% of its power derives from the particular engines. It is indeed turbo convertible during the ramjet cruise through a special mechanism that excludes the compressors and turbines. When the engines ceased to function as a turbofan ramjet becoming the structure cone placed in front of the entrance to the two turbines exploit the shock wave, the latter is conveyed inside the reactor pressure, causing about 400 times larger than atmospheric. During testing of the Blackbird, consisting of progressive speed trials, there was a problem at Mach 2.5-2.6: at this speed there was a power loss of a reactor, the problem was that, having reached this speed, the turbine was not able to convey the shock wave, and downloading dismissed against going. This defect was remedied by creating outlets that keep the pressure constant.


The cockpit of the Blackbird.

His particular coating is titanium. At such high speeds (above Mach 3), the plane, despite being at high altitude and thus at a low temperature, it reaches temperatures of 1,500 ° C/1.600 ° C because of the friction, a normal temperature alloy coating Aluminum would not be able to endure, even the high temperature causes a change in color from black to blue. Just before takeoff and after landing there are leaks of fuel but this is deliberate: the tanks are designed for ponds become due to thermal expansion during flight at high speed thus avoiding even the rupture of the tanks themselves. During his expeditions he was never shot down or damaged: he participated in missions so secret that even today have not been made public, just think that as a navigation system to prevent the emission of electromagnetic waves and be completely independent from external guidance systems ( type GPS) uses a sophisticated computerized theodolite, visible behind the pilot (only in version A). Probably his retirement was due to the entry into service of the MiG-31: It seems that during a routine flight “routine” the skies of Moscow, was “illuminated” by the Russian fighter radar. The missions of the Blackbird were not only secret, even very long. For sustenance riders were equipped with special rations, they were heated simply supported on glass, the speed of recognition was still a few hundred degrees.


An F-16XL and an SR-71 flying in formation to study the sonic diamonds.

Although little known to the Lockheed SR-71 was the first U.S. aircraft designed with stealth technology.

Technical characteristics:

Engine: Two Pratt & Whitney JT11D-20Y-J58 from 14 737 kg of thrust each with afterburner inserted. Length: 32.74 m. Height: 5.64 m. Wingspan: 16.95 m. Mass: 26 762 kg unladen, 63 560 kilograms when fully loaded. Speed: more than 3524 km / h (Mach 3:33 to 25 500 m of altitude). Service ceiling: 25 900 m. Range: 4600 km. Armament: none (optical sensors, electronic, infrared and radar)

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