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Meet SR-72, The Most Astonishing Airplane You'll Ever See

By Archean ยท 14 replies
Nov 2, 2013
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  1. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Is this real? Seems like a terrible idea. The SR-71 was never shot down, and it has to be cheaper to get those operational again than to build a new aircraft. With drones, the NSA, CIA, and satellites I think this is a huge waste of money.
  2. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,484   +3,478

    If they're openly talking about it, it means they've already got something operational that's superior.
    Mr WW likes this.
  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,490   +2,287

    AA missiles are getting better, and the upkeep on the aging SR-71 airframes was considerable. Legend has it the cost to just to start an SR-71, was on the order of $50.000. So, I suppose military "intelligence" figures that the upgrade in performance is worth the (sarcastic guesstimate) $500.000 dollars it likely costs to start one of those puppies.

    I actually think this aircraft is the first sensible thing that's been done in surveillance technology, since with our reliance of satellites, came a massively false sense of security.

    A weapons system such as this is much easier to re-target. But, an aircraft of this complexity needs very special ground facilities and well trained personnel. We used to fly some of the SR-71 Fleet out of Mildenhall AFB, England, and also a base in the Philippines

    And we never really got behind Ronald Raygun's, "Star Wars" program. (Or did we)? The fact remains, I've never heard of a killer satellite attack launched by us...? or !

    At one point, the SR-71 program included an (earlier) attack version called an "A12", which had, (proposed?) missile tubes in the front of the wing chines. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_A-12


    (This is all a bit fuzzy. I have a couple of books on the SR-71 program, but haven't cracked them open for years. Probably from depression brought on by the closure of the program).

    I believe the last flight, of the last active service SR-71 set the world record for a flight from LA to NYC. They took it out over the Pacific, did an inflight refueling, pointed it at New York, and lit the burners...........

    March 06, 1990
    SR-71A #61-17972
    West Coast to East Coast of USA (National Record-Speed Over a Recognized Course):Coast to Coast Distance: 2,404.05 statute miles...Time: 1 hr 07 min 53.69 secs...Average Speed: 2,124.51 mph
    Los Angeles To Washington D.C. (World Record): Distance: 2,299.67 statute miles...Time: 1 hr 04 min 19.89 secs...Average Speed: 2,144.83 mph
    St Louis To Cincinnati (World Record): Distance: 311.44 statute miles...Time: 8 mins 31.97 secs...Average Speed: 2,189.94 mph
    Kansas City To Washington D.C. (World Record): Distance: 942.08 statute miles...Time: 25 mins 58.53 secs...Average Speed: 2176.08 mph

    Here's the full page: http://www.wvi.com/~sr71webmaster/srrcd~1.htm
    Crew for above four records: Ed Yeilding and J.T. Vida
    (Above data verified by Ed Yeilding on November 22, 2002)
  4. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,247   +448

    Hey! What years were you at Mildenhall CC? I was there (Lakenheath) from 93 to early 94 and again from 95-96. Prior to that I was at Bentwaters/Woodbridge from 92-93. I was also at Clark from 76-84 but I was just a child back then. Luckily I did get to see the 71 multiple times before it was officially retired.
  5. EsOhCeeBFD

    EsOhCeeBFD TS Rookie Posts: 19

    Whether it's a waste of money or not, which I think it's too early to say, doesn't really matter to me. Or, at least, I don't have an opinion on it. I am, however, in love with the idea of it. The designs look elegant, and (if the projections hold true) it will be a truly astounding piece of surveillance equipment. Until I see test flights and so on, though, I'm not holding my breath.
  6. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Posts: 688   +67

    "The Most Astonishing Airplane You'll Ever See"
    This only holds till we see the next one. Which usually doesn't take long.
  7. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,230   +228

    Did I get this wrong that the appearance of the new plane is similar to the british-french civilian supersonic jet plane (except the nose)?
  8. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 5,690   +95

    I haven't seen the pic of that, can you please provide me with the link?

    However, I think this conceptual design from Lockheed Martin (presented to NASA) looks pretty cool ;)

  9. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    I still think it is a waste of money. This isn't the 50s-90s anymore, we don't need this type of aircraft. Sure its cool that they can make it, but the US is in bad shape financially (at least compared to previous decades) and I don't think this type of plane does us any good.

    Does this carry a pilot? I didn't see that mentioned, if so why? and if not why is the thing so big? Surely they can make it smaller...
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,160   +3,257

    I agree because of expenditures on projects such as this one, that does nothing to fulfill our needs to survive. Hell, we didn't even need the SR-71 but it was built anyway.
  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    The 71 could possibly be argued successfully as an asset to spying on the Soviets. This thing, I don't see the need. The world is a lot different now, we don't need mach 3 (and now this at twice the speed) airplanes to spy on other countries.

    Edit: I think it would be very cool to have a Top Gun like program development, where the airplanes are developed to be faster and more maneuverable than the opponent.
  12. Mr WW

    Mr WW TS Member Posts: 23

    I had a large picture of an SR-71 shot from the front in my room!
    I can still watch it for hours. Amazing plane!
  13. Tekkaraiden

    Tekkaraiden TS Evangelist Posts: 997   +93

    I'm curious how you're going to get the Ramjet to work.
  14. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 5,690   +95

    I guess the planners for such 'military equipment' still believe they live in a 'cold war' of sorts. Perhaps, this also make them aloof to the fact that financial realities of today, aren't that rosy, and supporting such projects isn't that easy as a result. But it didn't stopped anyone from building such toys before, and probably it won't stop them now.

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