Celebrate The 51st Anniversary Of The SR-71 Blackbird’s First Flight With These Crazy Stats
On December 22nd, 1964, the SR-71 Blackbird took to the air for the very first time, rising above Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale with F-104 chase planes in pursuit. The occasion would mark the birth of one of the most amazing and renowned aircraft of all time.
I cannot believe this thing was designed with the use of computers. WOW. Also… I recently talked with an ex-military guy about this plane and he said saw one operational at one point in his life. According to him, as it was getting ready to take off it was just gushing liquid which caught him off guard. Then someone explained it's because it gets moving to fast that parts expand due to heat… it hits 900 degrees Fahrenheit and then things aren't all leaky anymore. damn
Some numbers from the Blackbird family of planes (more in the linked article):
* 35 miles per minute or 3,100 feet per second is how fast the SR-71 could fly
* 85,000 feet is the official Blackbird ceiling, although it supposedly could fly higher
* 385 total persons have reached mach three in a Blackbird, including 105 VIPs
* 32 SR-71s were built
* 1 hour and 4 minutes was how fast the SR-71 could go from Los Angeles to Washington D.C.
* $33,000,000 was the cost to build a single SR-71 Blackbird
* 900 degrees Fahrenheit was how hot the SR-71’s skin got during high-speed runs
* 3,200 degrees Fahrenheit was the temperature of the J-58 engine’s exhaust at maximum output
* 85 percent of the Blackbird’s skin is titanium, the other 15 percent is carbon composites
* 6 inches is how much longer the SR-71 would grow at high speed due to heat expansion
* Zero was the number of computers used to design the Blackbird
John Bump says
Interestingly, the Concorde also changed shape significantly in flight, enough so that on the last Concorde flight people put mementos into spaces that opened up when it was flying and closed permanently once it landed, but the Concorde didn't have leaks. Then again, it didn't get as hot. The Blackbird took off almost empty, and filled up from a tanker plane in the air. It wasn't rated to either land or take off with a full fuel tank.
Paul Spoerry says
I didn't know that… that's awesome. Wicked planes.
Laugh Daily says
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