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The Lockheed SR-71 "Blackbird" was a long-range, Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft that was operated by the United States Air Force. It was developed as a black project from the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft in the 1960s by Lockheed and its Skunk Works division. American aerospace engineer Clarence "Kelly" Johnson was responsible for many of the design's innovative concepts. During aerial reconnaissance missions, the SR-71 operated at high speeds and altitudes to allow it to outrace threats. If a surface-to-air missile launch was detected, the standard evasive action was simply to accelerate and outfly the missile. The SR-71 was designed with a reduced radar cross-section. The SR-71 served with the U.S. Air Force from 1964 to 1998. A total of 32 aircraft were built; 12 were lost in accidents and none lost to enemy action. The SR-71 has been given several nicknames, including Blackbird and Habu. It has held the world record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft since 1976; this record was previously held by the related Lockheed YF-12. The SR-71 was the world's fastest and highest-flying operational manned aircraft throughout its career. On 28 July 1976, SR-71 serial number 61-7962, piloted by then Capt. Robert Helt, broke the world record: an "absolute altitude record" of 85,069 feet (25,929 m). Several aircraft have exceeded this altitude in zoom climbs, but not in sustained flight. That same day SR-71 serial number 61-7958 set an absolute speed record of 1,905.81 knots (2,193.2 mph; 3,529.6 km/h), approximately Mach 3.3. SR-71 pilot Brian Shul states in his book The Untouchables that he flew in excess of Mach 3.5 on 15 April 1986 over Libya to evade a missile. General characteristics Crew: 2: Pilot and Reconnaissance Systems Officer (RSO) Payload: 3,500 lb (1,600 kg) of sensors Length: 107 ft 5 in (32.74 m) Wingspan: 55 ft 7 in (16.94 m) Height: 18 ft 6 in (5.64 m) Wing area: 1,800 ft2 (170 m2) Empty weight: 67,500 lb (30,600 kg) Loaded weight: 152,000 lb (69,000 kg) Max. takeoff weight: 172,000 lb (78,000 kg) Wheel track: 16 ft 8 in (5.08 m) Wheelbase: 37 ft 10 in (11.53 m) Aspect ratio: 1.7 Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney J58-1 continuous-bleed afterburning turbojets, 34,000 lbf (151 kN) each Performance Maximum speed: Mach 3.3 (2,200+ mph, 3,540+ km/h, 1,910+ knots) at 80,000 ft (24,000 m) Range: 2,900 nmi (5,400 km) Ferry range: 3,200 nmi (5,925 km) Service ceiling: 85,000 ft (25,900 m) Rate of climb: 11820 ft/m (60 m/s) Wing loading: 84 lb/ft² (410 kg/m²) Thrust/weight: 0.44 Information taken from www.wikipedia.org
Hello friends! I have been entertaining myself recently with LDD. I have always loved aviation and especially military planes. I have seen some beautiful large-scale builds of the famous SR-71 Blackbird but they are always so huge, and I had some ideas to make a smaller, more practical model, perhaps sacrificing detail for the sake of practicality. Anyway, I would love all your comments, criticisms, and suggestions. Don't be afraid to be harsh- I really want to know how I am doing. Thanks in advance! http://imgur.com/a/Cuyy9