Mach-3 SR-71 Blackbird’s HOT COCKPIT

Blackbird onboard USS Intrepid – Photo © Xavier Cotton http://www.passionpourlaviation.fr

As you may have heard, the mythical Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird was a strategic reconnaissance aircraft able to fly at more than Mach 3 – Mach 3.3 ie around 3,500 km/h; or 1,900 kts; and at a maximum flight level of… FL 850 or 26 kilometers high!

The Blackbird indeed had a unique flight envelope with a particular doghouse plot (since she could not exceed 3.5 G), and an exceptionnal coffin corner limited by her CIT – Compressor Inlet Temperature of 427°C maximum.

This aircraft was also unique for her engines were two J58 ramjets fuelled by JP-7 especially refined for extreme flying purpose. This special fuel could drip and leak abundantly as the airframe made up of titanium was retracted while taxiing, and became airtight only when it got its operating shape while flying very fast and very high because of the air density, and surrounding pressure plus the heating caused by the air friction at such speeds. In short, the whole structure considerably expanded when airborne.

The irony – I heard it on the grapevine, or read it somewhere on the web – that titanium which turned into dark blue while flying (SR-71s probably deserved those unofficial other nicknames « Bluebird », or « Habu » viper) was « imported » from… USSR!

Pilots must have taken significant risks inherent in flying such an aircraft as mentioned in this previous post. These pilots used to fly over the USSR to take strategic reconnaissance photographs during the Cold war. They wore pressurized spacesuits so that their blood could not boil in case of decompression or ejection at such altitudes.

The Blackbird travelled faster than a rifle bullet, and the air friction could have melt aluminum-skinned aircraft. At Mach 3.2, fuel cycled behind the chine surface in order to cool the aircraft! The inner windshield temperature could reach 120°C even though a heavy-duty cooling system was on a full function. On landing, the outside temperature of the canopy could reach 300°C, and it must have been far beyond on the fuselage, and wing surfaces while flying at high speeds. The pilot could feel the heat behind his protective gloves!

Special thanks to Xavier Cotton for the Blackbird photos. Please, visit his website on http://www.passionpourlaviation.fr

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SKYDIVER Felix BAUMGARTNER’s TOP 5 JUMPS

Felix Baumgartner, the famous Austrian skydiver, is still waiting for better meteorological conditions to make a new attempt in the Red Bull Stratos project to break the sound barrier while freefalling. This new feat might happen within the next few days as it has already been scheduled on October 14.

According to the video below, Felix BAUMGARTNER’s top 5 jumps are:

  1. Wingsuit Channel Crossing
  2. Taipei 101 BASE Jump
  3. Petronas Towers BASE Jump
  4. Seating of the Spirits Cave Jump
  5. Man vs. Plane

 


Felix BAUMGARTNER was to jump on the 9th of October 2012. However, this jump which could have become the highest skydive in the aerospace history has been put off due to gusty winds.

In this new record attempt Felix BAUMGARTNER will be so high up – 120,000 ft, or 36.6 km – that if his suit leaks, his blood will boil. When he jumps, he will fall so fast that he will break the sound barrier as explained in this video:

 

 

A 3-hour ascent is expected to reach such an altitude, and it could take him more than a quarter of an hour to fall down back to the earth, and land… And now the animation on how it could unfold from the stratosphere right over Roswell, New Mexico, USA: (Click on the link below – MUST SEE!)

 

http://www.redbullstratos.com/gallery/?mediaId=media1859674064001

 

 

GO FELIX!

 

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Tutorial on AIRCRAFT NAVIGATION AIDS

Thanks to Rising Wings Aviation Channel, here is a very interesting video on airplane navigation aids (NAVAIDs) such as VOR (Very high frequency Omnidirectional radio Range), and how to use the OBS (Omni Bearing Selector) knob both on CDI (Course Deviation Indicator), and VOR; DME (Distance Measuring Equipment); VOR/DME; TACAN (Tactical Air Navigation); VOT (VOR Test facility); and VORTAC (co-located VOR & TACAN beacon):

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6 June, 1944: Roosevelt’s prayer on D-Day (with script)

 

Excerpts of President Franklin Delano ROOSEVELT’s address on D-Day:

 

Transcript:

My fellow Americans,

Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far, and so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer.

Almighty God, our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. Lead them straight, and true. Give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard for the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again, and we know that by thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried by night, and by day, without rest until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war, for these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home. With thy blessing, we shall prevail… Over the unholy forces of our enemy.

Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace – a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil. Thy will be done, Almighty God.

Amen

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RAMP AGENT about her JOB

When you pull your suitcase off the baggage carousel, you cannot see those who took care of it. They sort out a tremendous amount of bags and packs every day.

They drive tugs or pushback tractors, performing aircraft towings, and push-backs thanks to a tow bar. They load bulk cargo, and passenger baggage thanks to belt loaders, and they load ULD (Unit Load Device) pallets as well.

Maybe you wonder who these people are. Let us listen to one of these ramp agents also called « Fleet service clerks« ; « Fleet service agents« ; or « Baggage handlers« .

Video:

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