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 This special fuel could drip and leak abundantly as the airframe made up of titanium was retracted while taxiing, and became airtight only when it got its operating shape while flying very fast and very high because of the air density, and surrounding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

Brand New AVIATION NEWSPAPER Born on Sound Barrier’s Day…

I guessed it might be a good idea to start a new aviation newspaper on the « Sound Barrier’s Day » if I may put it this way (October 14, 1947 ==> Chuck YEAGER, and maybe in a few minutes… October 14, 2012 ==> Felix BAUMGARTNER – Let us hope he will succeed in breaking both the sound barrier, and a new freefall record)

 

Come read my newspaper about AVIATION
You are invited to discover my newspaper! I select and edit my favorite content daily, and Paper.li does the rest. It’s a great way to treat yourself to fresh news…

AVIATION

Published by Recce233Savoie

 

… After all, could be nice to celebrate this day throughout the world

😉


 

Future Airbus Aircraft Concept

This is what the next Airbus aircraft should be in the 40 years to come. The new Airbus concept is to match the passengers’ demand.

According to a consultation with the customers, 96% of them want more environmentally sustainable aeroplanes. The aircraft of the future will have to be fully recyclable, more sustainable ie eco-efficient, and less stressful:

Now, the leading aircraft manufacturer is using the feedback to paint its vision of sustainable aviation in 2050.

Airbus had unveiled a revolutionary concept cabin through images of a transparent airliner design, last year.

There is a need among the passengers to reduce the time spent in airports. The new Airbus concept cabin will integrate an additional door for faster boarding, and exit. This airliner of the future will reduce its noise, and carbon emmissions. It will use the latest technologies – bionic structure, blended airframe, enhanced laminar flow and noise reduction; blended U-tail, biomorphing seats able to collect the passenger’s body energy, cutting-edge relaxation systems, human body thermal recycling, dramatic panoramic view, World Wide Web access, round of golf, etc. Watch the video:

BRAZIL puts off its decision to buy new Fighterjet

Brazil is to spend up to 7 billion dollars (around 12 billion reals) for its Brazilian Air Force (FAB – Forca Aerea Brasileira) next procurement – fighter aircraft. There is no way to predict whether it will be Rafales, Gripens, or Super Hornets. Nobody knows much about what the tender outcome will be. We just know that India would advise Brazil in this competition. We will have to take another six months until Brazil makes a decision on this bid ie on December 31, 2012, or even later.

On the one hand, the French Dassault Rafale is deemed ahead thanks to its performance, the Swiss NAC tests, and thanks to a transfer of technology pledge. Moreover, the Rafale (carrier-capable) has won the Indian MMRCA tender among strong contenders – F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, MiG-35 Fulcrum F, Eurofighter/Typhoon, F-16IN Super Viper, JAS 39 NG Gripen. On the other hand, the U.S. Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet would be cheaper but the transfer of technology still depends on another aircraft sale.

Remember about fighter aircraft performance… 3 years ago!

TOP 10 DANGEROUS AIRFIELDS

Here are the ten most dangerous airports in the world (some of them closed down, or they were upgraded):

  1. Lukla airport, or Tenzing-Hillary Airport (IATA: LUA, ICAO: VNLK) in Nepal. Located at 2,860 meters above sea level. Its 460-meter long runway has a slope at a 12 percent incline, facing a steep, sloping Himalayan valley is probably the most dangerous airfields in the world. A few photos of Lukla, and videos were posted on the blog « PASSION POUR L’AVIATION » about three, and two years ago ===> Lukla au Népal : 2860m d’altitude & a Dornier Do 228 landing at Lukla airport: Lukla au Népal : atterrissage long d’un Do228 de Sita Air
  2. Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport (IATA: SAB, ICAO: TNCS) on the island of Saba, in the Netherlands Antilles is located on a small plateau above the Caribbean Sea. Its runway is very short – 400 meters long.
  3. Saint Barths airport (link to AIP approach map) or Gustaf III Airport (IATA: SBH, ICAO: TFFJ) is located on the Caribbean island of Saint Barthélemy, France.
  4. Toncontin International Airport (IATA: TGU, ICAO: MHTG) or Teniente Coronel Hernan Acosta Mejia Airport – at one thousand metres altitude – is located in a hollow on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Its 2,021-meter long runway – even though it was extended in 2009 as it was 1,863 metres long only – is one of the shortest ones among the international airports. A very dangerous hillside at the end of the runway was removed in 2009 too. This airport was ranked second in this top 10 before.
  5. Courchevel Airport or Altiport (IATA: CVF – ICAO: LFLJ) is an airfield that serves Courchevel, a ski resort in the French Alps. Its 525-metre long runway has a slope at an 18.5 percent incline. There is no ILS, and no go-around procedure. Courchevel is a difficult approach as ski runs are in the vicinity of its upslope runway. Moreover, the airport’s elevation is at 2,008 metres (6,588 ft).
  6. Gibraltar International Airport or North Front Airport (IATA: GIB, ICAO: LXGB) is located in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, and belongs to the UK Ministry of Defence though it is a civilian airport too. There are around 3,000 aircraft movements per year. The main road intersects the airport runway, and the road traffic is stopped whenever an airplane takes off, or lands.
  7. Hong Kong Kai Tak International Airport (IATA: HKG, ICAO: VHHH) was an international airport until 1998. It was shut down, and then replaced by the new Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok, 30 km to the west. There are mountains, and skyscrapers to the north of Kai Tak Airport, and its runway faces the ocean. Landing on this runway is particularly difficult.
  8. Los Roques Airport, or Aeropuerto Los Roques, in Spanish (IATA: LRV, ICAO: SVRS). It is a domestic airport with a one-kilometre long runway on the El Gran Roque island, Venezuela.
  9. Saint Maarten International Airport (IATA: SXM, ICAO: TNCM) (also known as Princess Juliana International Airport) is located on the Dutch part of the island of Saint Martin. Viral videos, and pictures are regularly posted on the Web as the runway threshold is only a few meters from the beach, and tourists can feel the turbulence, and even the blast of heavy aircraft when they land, or take off.
  10. Madeira Airport (IATA: FNC, ICAO: LPMA), or Funchal Airport (as Funchal is the name of the nearest cathedral), is an international airport in Santa Catarina, Santa Cruz, Madeira, Portugal. Its two runways are a bit short, and surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, and mountains.

Watch the video: