An authentic-to-scale replica of the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird.
Call sign: Blackbird
Nation of Origin: USA
Type: SR (strategic reconnaissance)
Power-plant: 2 Pratt & Whitney JT11D-20B turbofans (continuous afterburning) with 32,500
lbs of thrust each
Max Speed: Mach 3+ (2,190+ mph)
Max Ceiling: 26+ km (85,000+ feet), i.e., the extreme edges of Space
Range: 2,982 nautical miles (4,800 km)
Defense: Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) for countering missile and airborne fighter
Airframe: delta wings, titanium and titanium alloys (to cope with enormous temperature
fluctuations); Radar Absorbent Material (RAM)
Payload: 3,500 lbs (1,600 kg) of sensors including: optical/infrared imagery systems,
side-looking airborne radar (SLAR), electronic intelligence (ELINT) gathering systems,
In service almost 40 years after its inception, the Blackbird remains the highest-flying, fastest aircraft ever produced. Originally, the Blackbird was to be weaponized but was converted into a spy plane because it flew faster than a rifle bullet (i.e., it would have shot itself down). Although equipped with ECM, the SR-71's greatest protection was its high top speed, which made it virtually invulnerable to attack. Over the course of its service life, not one was shot down, despite numerous attempts by the Soviets to do so. Basically all the pilot had to do when a surface-to-air missile (SAM) was fired was to accelerate. Landing one was impossible without the deployment of an onboard parachute to slow it down.
The premier reconnaissance plane, the SR-71 actually flew over Russian airspace photographing sensitive sites at the height of the Cold War. It can photograph a license plate from a cruising altitude of 26 km, and can map 110,000 square miles per hour.
The Blackbird incorporated many interesting features. The aircraft was painted a dark blue, almost black, to increase the emission of internal heat, to act as camouflage against the night sky, and to resist visible light and radar detection. "Chines" (sharp edges along the sides of the nose and fuselage) generate improved lift and aerodynamics. "Spikes" (movable pointed cones in front of the engine air inlets) directed incoming air to maximize thrust. The spikes were locked in the full forward position when in subsonic flight. During acceleration to high-speed cruise, the spikes would unlock and begin a gradual mechanical (internal jack-screw actuated) aft descent up to 26 inches (66 cm). A corrugated titanium sheathing was used on sections of the wings because it expands/contracts better than other conventional materials. JP-7 jet fuel was used as a coolant and hydraulic fluid before being burned.
The aircraft's only downfalls are: its poor fuel efficiency (it often requires frequent in-flight refueling); and its accident proneness due to its high speed.
Excellent creation you have there! It looks just like the real thing! I think that for the Experimental Aircraft competition, you will be awarded (from me), 7/10 points. The only limiting factor was the fact that this plane has already been built. But a good build really boost your MOC.