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SR - 71, A Pilot's Memories from about 40 years agoCol. Buzz Carpenter recounts the power and majesty of the Blackbird (www.chonday.com) More...
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Great story. I loved that we "boomed" other heads of states' meetings. Something our sorry political whimps today wouldn't dream of doing.
I particularly enjoyed his statement in there about it being the only airplane, that the faster it went, the less fuel it burned.
YEAH THAT WAS COOL. WONDER WHAT THE TOP SPEED WAS....LIKE MACH3....
I'm a thinkin' that Mach 3 was at the top.
Mach at 85,000 feet is somewhere around 700mph and with the 'official' speed record reported at 2185 mph that puts the speed at mach 3+. Unofficial reports of close to 2300 mph from rumors circulating in the late 1970s and early 1980s could put the speed closer to mach 3.2 - all anyone can say is WOW!
I just got a reply back from my dad, who was an Aeronautical Engineer at Ames his whole working career and says its Mach 3.5.
That fits pretty well. I remember reading my first article about it in '65 or '66 in of all places, Mechanics Illustrated. The author wrote of a 2 min turn starting well below Chicago and taking it well into Canadian airspace. My reaction hasn't changed much over the years. WOW! hardly covers it.