SR71 Blackbird - detailed technical description

Thread Starter

AlbertHall

Joined Jun 4, 2014
12,397
I knew the SR71 was a special aeroplane but I have a much greater understanding of what makes it so special having watched this video.
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
7,580
During mid 1971 I was a young US Marine on his way to Vietnam. We had a two week stop in Okinawa for staging. Here I connected with two of my best friends who were USAF stationed at Kadina AFB on Okinawa. My friend Louie introduced me to the SR71 Blackbird as he showed me around. It was incredible but here is the humorous part. The locals would spend countless hours at the end of runways with cameras and lenses about as tall as them. They knew when a SR71 departed it would return giving them a photo op. :) That was my only up close and personal contact with a SR71 Blackbird. Talk about an incredible plane, it was incredible. :)

Ron
 

eetech00

Joined Jun 8, 2013
4,056
I've seen this aircraft flying low, and basically make a U turn above my house, during an airshow back in the 1980's.
It was both beautiful and sinister looking at the same time.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
30,303
I was fortunate to get to work on one of them back in 1986 (maybe early 1987). I was even more fortunate that I ONLY had to work on one of them! What a pig! I say that with the utmost respect, too. I love the airplane and recognize that it is a shining example of prioritizing performance over maintainability. Still didn't make it any more fun to work on.

It's amazing the number of things from that era, particularly in aerospace, that set records and milestones that have yet to be surpassed. It was an age when pushing the limits was the norm.
 

eetech00

Joined Jun 8, 2013
4,056
What I caught of the flight was really amazing (I was standing and watering the front yard grass at the time).
I was amazed at how tight a turning radius it had. It was in full view the entire turn.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
13,583
I was fortunate to get to work on one of them back in 1986 (maybe early 1987). I was even more fortunate that I ONLY had to work on one of them! What a pig! I say that with the utmost respect, too. I love the airplane and recognize that it is a shining example of prioritizing performance over maintainability. Still didn't make it any more fun to work on.

It's amazing the number of things from that era, particularly in aerospace, that set records and milestones that have yet to be surpassed. It was an age when pushing the limits was the norm.
+1

I has totally impressed with the SR71 Blackbird flying out of Okinawa but the recon workhorse for us was the North American A-5 Vigilante that was loaded with some of the best technology that could be designed for the era. They flew recon missions to and around Cuba when I was at the Navy base in Key West in the 70's. Stripped with nothing but cameras they could move like a bat out if hell without all of the SR71 security footprint.
https://www.airhistory.net/photo/639614/156625
1715649243804.png
Key West - Key West NAS / Boca Chica Field 1978 JARCC, I was there from 77 to 79 handling message traffic.

Previous examples from years before, nothing had really changed when I was there.
https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP78B04558A001300020055-6.pdf
https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP78B04558A001300020053-8.pdf

We flew them out of Subic too and left a few behind. :D
https://flic.kr/p/a8J2Pg 1715654439770.png
 
Last edited:

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
7,580
+1

I has totally impressed with the SR71 Blackbird flying out of Okinawa but the recon workhorse for us was the North American A-5 Vigilante that was loaded with some of the best technology that could be designed for the era. They flew recon missions to and around Cuba when I was at the Navy base in Key West in the 70's. Stripped with nothing but cameras they could move like a bat out if hell without all of the SR71 security footprint.
https://www.airhistory.net/photo/639614/156625
View attachment 322255
Key West - Key West NAS / Boca Chica Field 1978 JARCC, I was there from 77 to 79 handling message traffic.

Previous examples from years before, nothing had really changed when I was there.
https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP78B04558A001300020055-6.pdf
https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP78B04558A001300020053-8.pdf

We flew them out of Subic too and left a few behind. :D
https://flic.kr/p/a8J2Pg View attachment 322261
While not quite in your backyard if you are ever in Pensacola Florida check out the NAVAIR Museum for a trip down memory lane. Some really cool stuff. I really need to get down to the USAF Museum in Dayton, Ohio which is pretty local to me.

Ron
 

dovo

Joined Dec 12, 2019
72
I was at the Point Mugu Airshow around 1983 when an SR-71 did a flyby seemly slowly flying right above the runway when it abruptly went vertical and disappeared into the clouds at a climb rate that made the F-14 climbs look like nothing. Truly one of the most impressive things I have ever seen.
 

n6ac

Joined Apr 29, 2011
6
I was at the Point Mugu Airshow around 1983 when an SR-71 did a flyby seemly slowly flying right above the runway when it abruptly went vertical and disappeared into the clouds at a climb rate that made the F-14 climbs look like nothing. Truly one of the most impressive things I have ever seen.
WOW - We saw that same event and yes the vertical climb was so very spectacular!
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
7,580
Great respect for Russian jet technology and pilots for the horrible conditions they fly in.
When I worked onboard CVN69 (IKE) I had some good pictures as we kicked F14 Tomcats off the deck for night flight operations. Stage 5 AB off the jet blast deflectors was a trip. :) Not as impressive as a SR71 but pretty impressive.

Ron
 
Top