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Old Story. Cessna 172 requesting altitude/speed check from airport in So. Cal. Cessna 172 we have you @ 120 knots @ 7500ft. Next twin engine asks for same 12,000 and 270 knots. USAF pilot asks just to top them, F-16 we have you @ 55,000 and 650 knots He felt satisfied. Then another request was heard and reply was 80,000 and Mach 2.6. Wonder what that could have been? No other request was heard. Ha.Ha.
 

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An interesting point about the blackbird, we learned in school (aerospace engineering) that the blackbird was one of the only aircraft in the world that would get stronger as it flew. The titanium skin would actually get so hot it would be annealed after a couple of flights. I really wonder how long it will take that things top speed to be declassified.
 

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Old Story. Cessna 172 requesting altitude/speed check from airport in So. Cal. Cessna 172 we have you @ 120 knots @ 7500ft. Next twin engine asks for same 12,000 and 270 knots. USAF pilot asks just to top them, F-16 we have you @ 55,000 and 650 knots He felt satisfied. Then another request was heard and reply was 80,000 and Mach 2.6. Wonder what that could have been? No other request was heard. Ha.Ha.
Another old story. A Blackbird checking in with Air Traffic Control over the Pacific requested Flight Level 650 (~65,000'). The controller said "Yeah right, if you can get up there, you can have it." The Blackbird responded with "Roger, descending".
 

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As a "Certified Gear Head" anything that goes that fast has my attention and admiration, always has ,always will. Everytime the Russians would get close to the airplane speed record the SR-71's pilots would click the throttle up one more notch, so long,russkie record !! "SR-71 = America at it's best" imho.
 
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No pencils on the flight line

A good high school friend of my brother's worked on the SR-71 Flight line in the 60's. Said no pencils were allowed in the flight line. Apparently graphite was not good for the skin.
 

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Pencils aren't used on aircraft skin because of the galvanic action between the graphite and the surface, felt markers are the norm.
I saw Blackbirds climb out of Kadena in the evening a few times. They left long afterburner trails that were beautiful against the dark evening sky. An old boss of mine worked on the INS but I think he said more specifically the celestial update mechanism that has a little window on the dorsal just behind the cockpit. He said the usual "ill have to kill you if I tell you anymore" GI2 when I asked questions.
 

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I have seen two "Black Birds" and their pilots hated the name. They preferred the term Habu after a very aggressive Cobra like snake from the Philippines. There was a unit stationed there. All the pilots wore various patches with the word HABU as part of the design. They are a most incredible aircraft,and one must wonder what aircraft replaced them. The fuel cost about $800 a gallon and it used a lot of fuel. Richard Nixon screwed up in a speech and called them the SR 71 instead of what the Air Force had called them, the RS 71. So it goes. Habu 2 U (see where it comes from?)
 

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I have seen two "Black Birds" and their pilots hated the name. They preferred the term Habu after a very aggressive Cobra like snake from the Philippines. There was a unit stationed there. All the pilots wore various patches with the word HABU as part of the design. They are a most incredible aircraft,and one must wonder what aircraft replaced them. The fuel cost about $800 a gallon and it used a lot of fuel. Richard Nixon screwed up in a speech and called them the SR 71 instead of what the Air Force had called them, the RS 71. So it goes. Habu 2 U (see where it comes from?)
As far as I know, the "Habu" -71s were based in Okinawa, Japan. Also, the book "Sled Driver" by Brian Schul is a fantastic read if you can find it. He drove the "Sled", wasn't the RIO, and his detail in the book is fascinating.
 

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As far as I know, the "Habu" -71s were based in Okinawa, Japan. Also, the book "Sled Driver" by Brian Schul is a fantastic read if you can find it. He drove the "Sled", wasn't the RIO, and his detail in the book is fascinating.
On Oki they did call them the Habu. Named after the snake, known as a two step. He bites you on the first, you were dead by the second (so they said). Most feared snake on Okinawa.
 

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waaaaaay back when.....i got to see the last bird that was to be stationed at the National Air and Space Museum. I was in the 8th grade and I was going back home from a week long trip to DC.

i remember thinking.........it looks so small........

i was looking out the window of the passenger jet i was on and remember it sitting there next to a C-130 at Dulles airport.

i was excited and sad at the same time.

excited to actually see one and sad knowing that many men piloted that beautiful demon in the sky and that it was being replaced by a punk at a desk.
 

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If Im not mistaken that particular aircraft crossed the US fire-walled on that last ferry flight and set an all time coast to coast speed record of less than 1 hour.
 

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If I remember correctly, the GPU to start the -71s accordingly to Schuls book, was a Chevy V8 on a cart. Pretty low tech, for something so revolutionary for its time. I'd also recommend Kelly Johnson's biography to gleam more into the development of the Sled.
 

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30 years ago when I was BCO in a NIKE Herc battery in the vicinity of Cologne I trained my IFC crew to acquire this bird with the Target Tracking Radar TTR every time it showed up from Mildenhall/UK base for a flight along the IGB Inner German Border. On the HIPAR screen I could watch the blip jumping 5nm with every sweep of the radar . Even IF we managed to get a lock on, the PKP predicted kill point was far out of missile range. And it was an announced exercise. I bet the WP AD forces on the other side of the fence tried to prevent popping theiers eyes out.
Wolf

edit. the exercise was called "Southern Rose"
 

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It's a great airplane, but I'm not allowed to talk about it... I do remember that the North Korean's tried to shoot them down, but their missiles couldn't get within five miles.
 
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