Thursday, May 28, 2015

Blackbird Screaming in the Dead of Night

Anyone who grew up during the cold war probably remembers this airplane, built by the Lockheed Skunk Works division the SR-71 was and remains the world's fastest air breathing aircraft set on 28 July 1976 and held onto ever since.  It also holds the "speed over recognized course" record of NY to London in 1 hour 54 minutes. It has an acknowledge speed of Mach 3.3 although some pilots claim it was faster (I had the privilege of working with one back in the 80's), and former pilot Major Brian Shul claimed Mach 3.5 in his book, The Untouchables.

SR-71 Meet the SR-72

Image: Lockheed Martin
At better than a mile per second, this one is forecast to have a top speed of Mach 6 or 4,000 miles per hour and for you health nuts out there, this one is meat free.  No longer will aerodynamic performance be limited by a meat sack in the cockpit... it's a drone.  With a hybrid turbojet-ram jet engine this one is an intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) platform like it's predecessor, but this one is also rumored to have a strike capability lobbing bombs from 80,000 feet.  Projected flight time NY-London: 52 minutes.


And for old times sake:

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