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ElMaligno
Dec 31, 2004

Be Gay!
Do Crime!



Booblord Zagats posted:

He kept them under NASA, at least.

This is the reason the SR-71 will cease to exist, the SR-71 could be reborn as a viable R&D platform and we could learn and advance our space technology...

If we only gave NASA an actual loving budget instead of calling them nerds, taking their lunch money and giving it to our corporate overlords.

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movax
Aug 30, 2008



Genocide Tendency posted:

I want someone important to give me a good loving explanation as to why the SR71 is retired.

And if the words budget or cost are involved I will hit them in the face with a brick because we still have programs like the F-35 Joint Smoking Fuckery and V-22 Marine Snuffer Osprey.

To be fair, as awesome as the SR-71 is, recon satellites have advanced significantly vs their brethren around the time the SR-71 was operational -- and that's just public knowledge.

Yeah, a SR-71 is far more flexible since it is a manned aircraft and you can task it rapidly instead of waiting for a pass, but increase the number of recon satellites (or burn fuel) and you get near real-time data at basically 0 political risk of having to explain why a pilot is now dead/captured/missing.

bloops
Dec 30, 2010

Thanks Ape Pussy!


Yea I love the Blackbird as much as anyone, but it's a marvelous relic of the past.

Chinatown
Sep 11, 2001

~*Problematic Poster*~

Fun Shoe

We got lasers now, guys.

iyaayas01
Feb 19, 2010

Perry'd


movax posted:

To be fair, as awesome as the SR-71 is, recon satellites have advanced significantly vs their brethren around the time the SR-71 was operational -- and that's just public knowledge.

Yeah, a SR-71 is far more flexible since it is a manned aircraft and you can task it rapidly instead of waiting for a pass, but increase the number of recon satellites (or burn fuel) and you get near real-time data at basically 0 political risk of having to explain why a pilot is now dead/captured/missing.

Also we have this thing, which can be launched (relatively) rapidly to fill any gaps in satellite coverage...and can then stay up for the better part of a year.

Bernard McFacknutah
Nov 13, 2009


I was watching the news the other day (Fox) and they said that the SR-71 got cancelled because of obamacare

bloops
Dec 30, 2010

Thanks Ape Pussy!


Bernard McFacknutah posted:

I was watching the news the other day (Fox) and they said that the SR-71 got cancelled because of obamacare

They're about 20 years too late on that one.

EBB
Feb 15, 2005

What, Me Worry?


Bernard McFacknutah posted:

I was watching the news the other day (Fox) and they said that the SR-71 got cancelled because of obamacare

Replace "Fox" with "The Sun" and credit it an equal amount of journalistic integrity.

Comrade Blyatlov
Aug 4, 2007


should have picked four fingers







I don't have anything useful to add except that the SR71 loving owns bones.
I read a book SR71 Revealed by a guy who flew it for years and every single thing about it is badass as all gently caress.

They were gonna call it the YF12 at first or something but that sounds way more gay

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Y means it was in testing, and F means fighter. The YF-12 was a loving interceptor variant.

Mike-o
Dec 25, 2004

Now I'm in your room
And I'm in your bed




Grimey Drawer

You're all forgetting the fact that the titanium used to build the SR-71 was awesomely stolen from the Soviets through multiple front companies of the CIA.

bloops
Dec 30, 2010

Thanks Ape Pussy!


And no one really knows how fast the Blackbird actually was. The jet was never truly maxed out.

movax
Aug 30, 2008



holocaust bloopers posted:

And no one really knows how fast the Blackbird actually was. The jet was never truly maxed out.

That we know of :tinfoil:

(It's probably an absurdly high number)

The thing had its flaws but it's a marvel. Doubly so when you think about the technology at its time of creation. Wonder if the current political / corporate environment at LockMart and DoD would even allow for such a project today (my guess is no).

EBB
Feb 15, 2005

What, Me Worry?


quote:

There were a lot of things we couldn't do in an SR-71, but we were the fastest guys on the block and loved reminding our fellow aviators of this fact. People often asked us if, because of this fact, it was fun to fly the jet. Fun would not be the first word I would use to describe flying this plane. Intense, maybe. Even cerebral. But there was one day in our Sled experience when we would have to say that it was pure fun to be the fastest guys out there, at least for a moment.

It occurred when Walt and I were flying our final training sortie. We needed 100 hours in the jet to complete our training and attain Mission Ready status. Somewhere over Colorado we had passed the century mark. We had made the turn in Arizona and the jet was performing flawlessly. My gauges were wired in the front seat and we were starting to feel pretty good about ourselves, not only because we would soon be flying real missions but because we had gained a great deal of confidence in the plane in the past ten months. Ripping across the barren deserts 80,000 feet below us, I could already see the coast of California from the Arizona border. I was, finally, after many humbling months of simulators and study, ahead of the jet.

I was beginning to feel a bit sorry for Walter in the back seat. There he was, with no really good view of the incredible sights before us, tasked with monitoring four different radios. This was good practice for him for when we began flying real missions, when a priority transmission from headquarters could be vital. It had been difficult, too, for me to relinquish control of the radios, as during my entire flying career I had controlled my own transmissions. But it was part of the division of duties in this plane and I had adjusted to it. I still insisted on talking on the radio while we were on the ground, however. Walt was so good at many things, but he couldn't match my expertise at sounding smooth on the radios, a skill that had been honed sharply with years in fighter squadrons where the slightest radio miscue was grounds for beheading. He understood that and allowed me that luxury.

Just to get a sense of what Walt had to contend with, I pulled the radio toggle switches and monitored the frequencies along with him. The predominant radio chatter was from Los Angeles Center, far below us, controlling daily traffic in their sector. While they had us on their scope (albeit briefly), we were in uncontrolled airspace and normally would not talk to them unless we needed to descend into their airspace.

We listened as the shaky voice of a lone Cessna pilot asked Center for a readout of his ground speed. Center replied: "November Charlie 175, I'm showing you at ninety knots on the ground."

Now the thing to understand about Center controllers, was that whether they were talking to a rookie pilot in a Cessna, or to Air Force One, they always spoke in the exact same, calm, deep, professional, tone that made one feel important. I referred to it as the " Houston Center voice." I have always felt that after years of seeing documentaries on this country's space program and listening to the calm and distinct voice of the Houston controllers, that all other controllers since then wanted to sound like that, and that they basically did. And it didn't matter what sector of the country we would be flying in, it always seemed like the same guy was talking. Over the years that tone of voice had become somewhat of a comforting sound to pilots everywhere. Conversely, over the years, pilots always wanted to ensure that, when transmitting, they sounded like Chuck Yeager, or at least like John Wayne. Better to die than sound bad on the radios.

Just moments after the Cessna's inquiry, a Twin Beech piped up on frequency, in a rather superior tone, asking for his ground speed. "I have you at one hundred and twenty-five knots of ground speed." Boy, I thought, the Beechcraft really must think he is dazzling his Cessna brethren. Then out of the blue, a navy F-18 pilot out of NAS Lemoore came up on frequency. You knew right away it was a Navy jock because he sounded very cool on the radios. "Center, Dusty 52 ground speed check". Before Center could reply, I'm thinking to myself, hey, Dusty 52 has a ground speed indicator in that million-dollar cockpit, so why is he asking Center for a readout? Then I got it, ol' Dusty here is making sure that every bug smasher from Mount Whitney to the Mojave knows what true speed is. He's the fastest dude in the valley today, and he just wants everyone to know how much fun he is having in his new Hornet. And the reply, always with that same, calm, voice, with more distinct alliteration than emotion: "Dusty 52, Center, we have you at 620 on the ground."

And I thought to myself, is this a ripe situation, or what? As my hand instinctively reached for the mic button, I had to remind myself that Walt was in control of the radios. Still, I thought, it must be done - in mere seconds we'll be out of the sector and the opportunity will be lost. That Hornet must die, and die now. I thought about all of our Sim training and how important it was that we developed well as a crew and knew that to jump in on the radios now would destroy the integrity of all that we had worked toward becoming. I was torn.

Somewhere, 13 miles above Arizona, there was a pilot screaming inside his space helmet. Then, I heard it. The click of the mic button from the back seat. That was the very moment that I knew Walter and I had become a crew. Very professionally, and with no emotion, Walter spoke: "Los Angeles Center, Aspen 20, can you give us a ground speed check?" There was no hesitation, and the replay came as if was an everyday request. "Aspen 20, I show you at one thousand eight hundred and forty-two knots, across the ground."

I think it was the forty-two knots that I liked the best, so accurate and proud was Center to deliver that information without hesitation, and you just knew he was smiling. But the precise point at which I knew that Walt and I were going to be really good friends for a long time was when he keyed the mic once again to say, in his most fighter-pilot-like voice: "Ah, Center, much thanks, we're showing closer to nineteen hundred on the money."

For a moment Walter was a god. And we finally heard a little crack in the armor of the Houston Center voice, when L.A.came back with, "Roger that Aspen, Your equipment is probably more accurate than ours. You boys have a good one."

It all had lasted for just moments, but in that short, memorable sprint across the southwest, the Navy had been flamed, all mortal airplanes on freq were forced to bow before the King of Speed, and more importantly, Walter and I had crossed the threshold of being a crew. A fine day's work. We never heard another transmission on that frequency all the way to the coast.

For just one day, it truly was fun being the fastest guys out there.
http://oppositelock.jalopnik.com/favorite-sr-71-story-1079127041

iyaayas01
Feb 19, 2010

Perry'd


Godholio posted:

Y means it was in testing, and F means fighter. The YF-12 was a loving interceptor variant.

Don't forget about the bomber design study Lockheed did.

evil_bunnY
Apr 2, 2003



movax posted:

That we know of :tinfoil:
(It's probably an absurdly high number)
I think 3.2 was the theoretical I heard in a docu? You have no loving business going that fast in a air-breathing machine.

Booblord Zagats
Oct 30, 2011




Pork Pro

iyaayas01 posted:

Don't forget about the bomber design study Lockheed did.

Who needs ICBMs when you can just drop a few bombs off the centerline of a Blackbird? (No one, thats who!)

bloops
Dec 30, 2010

Thanks Ape Pussy!






bloops fucked around with this message at 21:38 on Dec 30, 2014

Booblord Zagats
Oct 30, 2011




Pork Pro


The Sr-71 is the aeronautical version of the old AC Cobra. It's more art than utility, everything about it, from the looks, the smells and the way it makes you feel when you look at it, it's practically pornography

bloops
Dec 30, 2010

Thanks Ape Pussy!


Booblord Zagats posted:

The Sr-71 is the aeronautical version of the old AC Cobra. It's more art than utility, everything about it, from the looks, the smells and the way it makes you feel when you look at it, it's practically pornography

Good engineering is art.

drgitlin
Jul 25, 2003
luv 2 get custom titles from a forum that goes into revolt when its told to stop using a bad word.

Genocide Tendency posted:

I want someone important to give me a good loving explanation as to why the SR71 is retired.

And if the words budget or cost are involved I will hit them in the face with a brick because we still have programs like the F-35 Joint Smoking Fuckery and V-22 Marine Snuffer Osprey.

Rich Graham (last SR-71 Wing Commander) goes into that quite a lot in this book: http://www.amazon.com/SR-71-Revealed-Richard-H-Graham/dp/0760301220/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1419975813&sr=8-5&keywords=SR-71

Taking a job in that wing meant getting marginalized for senior command which meant there weren't any SR-71 defenders in the right places to stop it getting axed when people who didn't like the plane wanted it gone.

A Bakers Cousin
Dec 18, 2003






This has been my favorite story from sled driver forever.

drgitlin
Jul 25, 2003
luv 2 get custom titles from a forum that goes into revolt when its told to stop using a bad word.

Two Finger posted:

I don't have anything useful to add except that the SR71 loving owns bones.
I read a book SR71 Revealed by a guy who flew it for years and every single thing about it is badass as all gently caress.

They were gonna call it the YF12 at first or something but that sounds way more gay

Um, no. The original single seater was called the A-12 and was built for the CIA. Here you go, read all about it: http://www.foia.cia.gov/sites/default/files/DOC_0000190094.pdf

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/books-and-monographs/a-12/index.html

Comrade Blyatlov
Aug 4, 2007


should have picked four fingers







drgitlin posted:

Rich Graham (last SR-71 Wing Commander) goes into that quite a lot in this book: http://www.amazon.com/SR-71-Revealed-Richard-H-Graham/dp/0760301220/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1419975813&sr=8-5&keywords=SR-71

Taking a job in that wing meant getting marginalized for senior command which meant there weren't any SR-71 defenders in the right places to stop it getting axed when people who didn't like the plane wanted it gone.

That was the book I've read. Great read, I highly recommend it.

Nostalgia4Dogges
Jun 18, 2004

Only emojis can express my pure, simple stupidity.



Ospreys have a purpose I guess but are absolutely tiny inside considering their size. Still terrifying to ride in.

53s are loving gigantic inside and out

Casimir Radon
Aug 1, 2008




Marines ruin everything. If they spent half as much time fighting as they do smelling their own farts and begging for more stuff they'd probably be unstoppable.

Mr-Spain
Aug 27, 2003

Bullshit... you can be mine.

FISTS CURE WOMEN posted:

This has been my favorite story from sled driver forever.

Google how slow one can go, and try to decide. I haven't read Sled Driver but I think I like that story even more.

Nuclear Tourist
Apr 7, 2005

L'absinthe, c'est la mort!



Tapir gunship :confused:

Mike-o
Dec 25, 2004

Now I'm in your room
And I'm in your bed




Grimey Drawer


I can't remember all the details, but the A-12 came first, then the YF-12 was the two-seater interceptor. The SR-71 was marginally based on the YF-12. I think they partially outed the existence of the A-12/YF-12 to cover up the brand new operations of the SR-71. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Wingnut Ninja
Jan 11, 2003

Mostly Harmless


Another good Richard Graham book is Flying the SR-71 Blackbird. It gets pretty technical and dry in parts (he literally steps through most of the checklists line by line), but it's a very unique account that focuses on what it was like actually flying the thing on a mission. Not just "yeah, we're super high and fast and awesome", but lots of details on just how finnicky it was during certain phases of flight, and what life was like out on a det. Also the best description I've read of what an "unstart" actually is and how they dealt with it.

Some other cool facts: contrary to a popular myth, the plane wasn't so hot after a mission that ground crew couldn't touch it. All of the exposed surfaces cooled down quickly during the descent phase. Recovery procedures actually required a ground crew member to climb up on top of the jet to deal with the drogue chute after landing. There were some parts that weren't directly exposed to airflow, like landing gear, that could stay pretty hot though.

While it did leak fuel on deck to allow for expansion, it wasn't gushing out of the tanks like some accounts make it sound. They did normally hit up a tanker after takeoff, but not because they had lost so much fuel on deck; they just didn't take off with a full load due to max takeoff weight restrictions. They could do a ~90 minute training flight without refueling at all.

They also found that the cockpit windows made for great hot plates to warm up their astronaut-style tubes of food during a mission. Hold it up against the glass for a few seconds on each side and your meat paste is much tastier!

Tiny Timbs
Sep 6, 2008



I'm playing through Valiant Hearts and learning poo poo about how WWI was apparently even more hosed up than I had already realized:



quote:

Flechettes were dropped from aeroplanes or airships in great numbers, each canister holding between twenty and 250 flechettes. One French airman in March 1915 dropped 18,000 in one day over the German lines. The idea was that by dropping them at great heights they would acquire sufficient momentum (like a bullet) to allow them to pierce the heads, or bodies of enemy soldiers or civilians.

http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/REL/00794.001/

:stare:

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



GENDERWEIRD GREEDO posted:

I'm playing through Valiant Hearts and learning poo poo about how WWI was apparently even more hosed up than I had already realized:




http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/REL/00794.001/

:stare:

They were used all the way through Vietnam, as the Lazy Dog bomb.



Apparently before attack helicopters got good weapons, they would literally dump buckets of these out of the choppers.

Chinatown
Sep 11, 2001

~*Problematic Poster*~

Fun Shoe

Well that poo poo is loving terrifying.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Chinatown posted:

Well that poo poo is loving terrifying.

According to the source I got that pic from, at terminal velocity they impacted similarly to a .50 BMG bullet. Could penetrate up to 24 inches of packed sand.

iyaayas01
Feb 19, 2010

Perry'd


Mike-o posted:

I can't remember all the details, but the A-12 came first, then the YF-12 was the two-seater interceptor. The SR-71 was marginally based on the YF-12. I think they partially outed the existence of the A-12/YF-12 to cover up the brand new operations of the SR-71. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

The A-12 was developed solely for the CIA under Project Oxcart in the late '50s/early '60s. It flew operationally for the CIA from '63 to '68, flying several sorties over North Vietnam as well as a couple over North Korea during the Pueblo incident. The YF-12 was developed for the USAF as a next-gen interceptor in the early '60s; it had its first flight in '63. The three YF-12 airframes were actually produced as part of the A-12's production run because Lockheed convinced the USAF that the YF-12 would be a relatively cheap fill-in for that mission after the XF-108 got cancelled. The SR-71 was developed for the USAF as an expanded/improved A-12; it had its first flight at the end of '64. As you can see from the timeline the YF-12 and SR-71 were kind of developed in parallel from the A-12, in separate efforts. The SR-71 actually conducted a fly-off with the A-12 in '67 to determine which program to leave in service. The decision was made that the SR-71 was the superior choice, despite being slightly lower performing (extra crewman and equipment) and slightly worse cameras...the increased flexibility brought on by the increased payload capacity, extra crewman, and ability to simultaneously collect IMINT and ELINT was judged superior. LBJ publicly acknowledged the YF-12 in '64, followed shortly thereafter by acknowledging the SR-71. The motivation was twofold: first, Goldwater had leveled charges against LBJ during the '64 campaign that LBJ was weak on defense. This was intended to address that. Second, by publicly acknowledging the YF-12 and SR-71 they were providing cover for the A-12. The YF-12 and SR-71 were both acknowledged as being still in development, so they were providing cover for the already operational but still covert A-12.

Also whoever was talking about Cheney forcing Lockheed to destroy all the tooling is about 25 years too late, McNamara forced them to destroy all that poo poo in '68.

Calvin Johnson Jr.
Dec 8, 2009


In Huntsville, AL they have an SR-71 you go up to and look at up close. It's loving beautiful.

Duke Chin
Jan 11, 2002

Roger That:
MILK CRATES INBOUND

:siren::siren::siren::siren:
- FUCK THE HABS -


iyaayas01 posted:

Also whoever was talking about Cheney forcing Lockheed to destroy all the tooling is about 25 years too late, McNamara forced them to destroy all that poo poo in '68.

Yeah I have old-guy-fuzzy-dumb memory but wasn't Cheney responsible for the axe on parts and tooling of F-14's? ...or at least blamed for it?

iyaayas01
Feb 19, 2010

Perry'd


Duke Chin posted:

Yeah I have old-guy-fuzzy-dumb memory but wasn't Cheney responsible for the axe on parts and tooling of F-14's? ...or at least blamed for it?

He was the one who killed the program in the late '80s.

So yeah, he was responsible for destroying it, but it wasn't some vindictive "Congress cut your funding, but I'm going to make sure you stay dead by ordering your tooling melted down *evil laugh*." It was destroyed, but that was just a result of the production line shut down...like it is with most other aviation programs.

The spare parts and boneyard airframe destruction was much later, '07 timeframe...Cheney didn't have anything to do with that.

Duke Chin
Jan 11, 2002

Roger That:
MILK CRATES INBOUND

:siren::siren::siren::siren:
- FUCK THE HABS -


iyaayas01 posted:

Cheney didn't have anything to do with that.

Yeah he was too busy dealing with the fallout from blasting his :airquote: friend :airquote: in the face and making him apologize Janay Rice-style at that point. :rimshot:

Duke Chin fucked around with this message at 05:36 on Dec 31, 2014

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bloops
Dec 30, 2010

Thanks Ape Pussy!


If my brain full of airplane trivia is correct, the USAF had a serious problem with the Tomcat during the 90's as it was shaping up to be a helluva strike aircraft equal to or better than the F-15E.

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