Air International 1985-02
J.Miller - Burbank's Blackbirds
A-12 на хранении
The chine of the A-12 is blended on to a tubular fuselage core. Advantages of this configuration include improved supersonic drag performance and a significant lowering of the aircraft radar signature.
All surviving A-12s, including the single two-seat aircraft, 60-6927, shown here, are currently in storage at Lockheed's Palmdale facility.
Проект A-11
SR-71A, 64-17971, flies past, displaying shock waves in the jet exhaust.
1967 год, НАСА не смогло найти высокоскоростную исследовательскую платформу, а ВВС США требовалась помощь в реализации программы SR-71. Поэтому ученые и военные объединили свои усилия. ВВС предоставили два прототипа YF-12A, а НАСА задействовало их в ряде программ сверхзвуковых исследований, таких как изучение явления кинетического нагрева, методов охлаждения планера и отработка систем корабля Space Shuttle. Когда один YF-12 был потерян, НАСА получило на замену самолет SR-71A, для секретности обозначенный YF-12C (на снимке). 22 декабря 1978 года НАСА вернуло YF-12C, а оставшийся YF-12 летал до 1979 года.
NASA obtained all three YF-12As and the second production SR-71A for use as high-speed, high-altitude flight test aircraft. The SR-71A (nearest the camera) was officially referred to as a YF-12C after its transfer to NASA and was given a fictitious serial number (60-6937).
The SR-71A, 64-17955, in standard USAF matt black finish and the original white lettering; the small size of the national insignia star-and-bar marking is unusual, but used on most SR-71As at this time. Operational SR-71As now have serial numbers in red, whilst retaining the overall black finish, and have low-visibility national insignia.
Another view of the SR-71A, 64-17955, in a slow fly-by with undercarriage down. The insignia on the fin comprises a cartoon chipmunk - apparently individual to this particular aircraft. The photograph was taken at Palmdale when this SR-71A was operating with the 9th SRW's Detachment 5.
The SR-71A 's chine is significantly more rounded near the nose than that of the A-12. Blending of wing and fuselage and engine nacelles is particularly noticeable from this angle.
A view of SR-71A, 64-17964
The blended chines and extraordinarily thin wing of the SR-71A present an unmistakable image when viewed head on.
Only a dozen or so SR-71As remain operational at Beale AFB with a number of aircraft being placed in storage as reserve airframes. Illustrated is 64-17980, which is thought to have been the very last SR- 71A manufactured.
SR-71A, 64-17971, on final approach to Dyess AFB, Texas. This aircraft has an unusual nose-mounted port for a panoramic camera of the CAI/Itek in (61-cm) focal length type.
The SR-71A is slowed after landing by a 40-ft (12,2-m) diameter ring-sail ribbon parachute made of nylon. The drag chute compartment is located in the top of the rear fuselage.
The two-seat SR-71B, 64-17956, has now completed over 1,000 missions. It is seen here at Lockheed's Palmdale facility following completion ofa test flight prior to its delivery to Beale AFB.
Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird
Following the unveiling of the YF-12A, the test programme was moved from Groom Lake to Edwards AFB. Visible in this view, taken at Edwards, are one of two chine-mounted infra-red sensor balls and the large nose radome to house the AN/ASG-18 radar dish.
Most of the USAF test programme utilising the three YF-12As had been concluded prior to the transfer of the aircraft to Edwards AFB. The second aircraft, 60-6935. is seen here landing at Edwards following a test mission; camera pods had been removed by this time.
This overhead view of the YF-12A, 60-6935, after its transfer to NASA, shows modified chines following deletion of the infra-red sensor balls, the addition of an enlarged pilot boom for test purposes, and the dorsally-mounted in-flight refuelling receptacle.
The YF-12A cockpit (60-6935) is fairly conventional, with only modest concessions to the performance capability of the aircraft.
Col Walt Daniel is seen in the cockpit of a YF-12A preparing for the successful speed record attempt of 1 May 1965. Because of the altitude and speed capabilities of the Blackbird family, almost all missions require the use of an S1010B full-pressure suit.