The SR-71 Blackbird
The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird is an advanced, long-range, mach 3 +
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The SR-71 Blackbird
The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird is an advanced, long-range, mach 3 + strategic reconnaissance aircraft. It was developed for covert missions, and was created by Lockheed Skunk Works. Clarence Kelly Johnson was responsible for many of the design concepts. During the recon missions the SR-71 performed in, it had operated at high speeds and altitudes to allow it to outrace threats. The standard evasive action was simply to outrun and out accelerate any incoming missile.
The Lockheed SR-71 was in operation with the U.S. Air Force from 1964 to 1998, twenty four years of reconnaissance missions, of the 32 aircraft built for the U.S. Air Force none of the planes were ever lost to any enemy action. The SR-71 was…show more content… The SR-71 was substantially made of titanium obtained by the U.S. from the USSR. The plane was painted a dark blue in order to act as a camouflage against the night sky. The aircraft is designed to minimize its radar cross-section which was a early attempt at being invisible to radar. The dark paint color of the aircraft is what had pinned the name Blackbird on the plane.
The Blackbird’s structure was one of the first designs to use extensive amounts of titanium in order to resist the high temperature of achieving mach 3, or more, speed.
The skin of the SR-71 is corrugated, not smooth, which allows the skin to not split or curl when thermal expansion stresses the wing skin. By making the skin surface corrugated, the skin is allowed to expand vertically and horizontally without overstressing which increases longitudal strength. To allow for thermal expansion at the high operational temperatures, the fuselage panels are manufactured to fit only loosely on the ground.
The SR-71 was the first operational aircraft designed with a stealth shape. The materials also allowed for the SR-71 to be the peak of stealth design at the time. The first studies in radar stealth technology seemed to show that a shape with flat tapering sides would avoid reflecting radar energy toward the radar beams place of origin. The aircraft also used radar absorbing materials which were installed into sawtooth shaped sections of the skin on the aircraft as