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The BLACKBIRD, revisited in BLACKSBURG. Presented by: Pedro De Oliveira Michael Libeau on April 21, 2000. Motivation for the project. American intelligence forecasted U-2 vulnerability Subsonic cruise speed 70 kft ceiling 1750 nm range Improved Russian missile technology plotted (SAM’s)

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The blackbird revisited in blacksburg


Presented by:

Pedro De Oliveira

Michael Libeau

on April 21, 2000.

Motivation for the project
Motivation for the project

  • American intelligence forecasted U-2 vulnerability

    • Subsonic cruise speed

    • 70 kft ceiling

    • 1750 nm range

  • Improved Russian missile technology plotted (SAM’s)

  • U-2 being shot down on May 1, 1960 over U.R.S.S. reinforced the idea

  • Government asked for a new aircraft

    • low radar cross-section aircraft

    • Mach 3+ cruising speed (continuous!)

    • altitudes in excess of 80 kft.

Another idea project oxcart archangel ii
Another idea...Project Oxcart - Archangel II

[Jenkins], p. 7

A12 the definitive idea
A12 - the definitive idea

[Whitford], p. 188

The u2 and the sr 71
The U2 and the SR-71

Drendel p 36

Sr 71a general data
SR-71A General Data

  • Primary function: Strategic Reconnaissance

  • Wing span = 55 ft 7in (16.942 m)

  • Length = 107 ft, 5 in (32.741 m)

  • GTOW = 140,000 lbf (63,500 kgf)

  • Engine@Thrust = 2 J58@32,500 lbf (65,000 lbf SLST)

  • Max speed = Mach 3.31 (World record speed)

  • Rate of Climb = 10,000+ fpm

  • Ceiling = 85,069 ft (also a World record)

  • Range = 2,982 nm at Mach 3, 74,740 ft, on internal fuel

  • Endurance on internal fuel, at loiter speed= 7h,

  • At above range 1h20min over target area

  • Manufacturer: Lockheed (McNamara ordered tooling destroyed)

Speed comparison faster than a rifle bullet
Speed Comparison(“faster than a rifle bullet”)

  • Mig-25engines reported being destroyed after flying at 3.2M. Unofficial maximum speed was 2.8M

  • XB-70 only dashed at 3.2M - most of the flight was subsonic.

  • The SR-71 used to fly at 3.0M+ for hours.

Thrust to weight ratio comparison
Thrust-to-Weight Ratio Comparison

  • The Mig-25 fuselage has a much smaller fineness ratio.

Jane’s, 74/75

More on t w x w s comparison
More on T/W x W/S Comparison





[Whitford], p. 39

Wing geometry comparison speed increase demands thinner wings
Wing Geometry ComparisonSpeed increase demands thinner wings.

[Whitford], p. 30

Aerodynamic considerations another application of the kiss methodology
Aerodynamic ConsiderationsAnother application of the KISS methodology

  • High fineness ratio bodies

  • Highly swept double-delta wing.

[Whitford], p. 188

Aerodynamic considerations fuselage
Aerodynamic Considerations - FUSELAGE

  • High fineness ratio for minimum wave drag

  • Use of chines:

    • better directional stability: reduction of the side-force

    • offset the backward movement of the A.C. with Mach number

[Whitford], p. 150

[Whitford], p. 150

Aerodynamic considerations wing
Aerodynamic Considerations - WING

  • Double-delta plan form allows high (t/c) ratio to minimize wave drag

  • Swept keeps most of the wing in Mach cone :

    • For Mach 3.0 flight

    • SR-71 wing sweep angle:

  • Conical camber

    • moves the center of lift inboard

    • relieves loading on engine nacelle structure due to outboard wing

    • reduction in high rolling moment due to sideslip inherent to highly swept wings

[Whitford], p. 188

Aero considerations vertical tails
Aero Considerations - VERTICAL TAILS

  • All moving tails (+20/-20 deg)

  • Cant angle to

    • reduce induced rolling moment when dr ≠ 0

    • stay on the correct side of the vortices shed by the nacelles - reduced VT deflection at low speed with  ≠ 0

Whitford, p. 195

Vortices i
Vortices - I

Crickmore p 66

Vortices ii
Vortices - II

Crickmore p 181

The all moving vts
The all-moving VTs.

Crickmore p 44

Drendel p 20

Stable or unstable
Stable or unstable?

Drendel p 45

Aero considerations aerodynamic heating
Aero Considerations - Aerodynamic Heating

  • The SR-71, a hot airplane:

    • 600 F at nose (aerodynamic heating at Mach 3+)

    • 520 F at the windshield glass

    • 1200 F at the exhaust nozzle (fuel burned)

  • 93% of the structural weight built of Titanium alloys

  • Cord-wise corrugations on wing skin

  • The utility of the black paint (lower temps., lower RCS)

  • Nitrogen both in tires and in fuel tank

Aero considerations aerodynamic heating1
Aero Considerations - Aerodynamic Heating

  • Fuel used also as coolant

  • JP-7, a high-flashing point fuel

  • Fuel leakage always a problem

  • Special hydraulic fluids (powders?) to operate at 600 F

  • Special tires, retracted into the fuselage fuel tank area

Fuel leakage always a problem
Fuel leakage always a problem

Air&Space Magazine, Feb/Mar 99, vol. 13 (6)

Propulsion turbojet or ramjet
Propulsion: Turbojet or Ramjet?

  • At Mach 3 cruise, turbojet engine makes only 17% of total thrust

AIAA-69-757, p. 7

Turbo ramjet a hybrid propulsion system
Turbo-ramjet: a hybrid propulsion system

AIAA-69-757, p. 7

AIAA-69-757, p. 7

Flow must decelerate from supersonic to subsonic before the compressor first stage
Flow must decelerate from supersonic to subsonic before the compressor first stage

Missions compressor first stage

  • Reconnaissance (it should be RS, Pres. Johnson turned it SR)

  • Interceptor (YF-12)

  • Mother-ship

  • Research Vehicle

Typical reconnaissance mission
Typical Reconnaissance Mission compressor first stage

Crickmore p 69

A modern ship but also a mother ship
A modern ship, but also compressor first stagea mother-ship.

Jenkins p 50

The mother ship delivery
The mother-ship delivery. compressor first stage

Jenkins p 44

Sr 71 in high speed research
SR-71 in High Speed Research compressor first stage

  • NASA Dryden currently is conducting high speed flight research using two SR-71 aircraft.

  • Excellent platforms to carry out research and experiments in a variety of areas (aerodynamics, propulsion,structures, thermal protection materials, high-speed and high-temperature instrumentation, atmospheric studies and sonic boom characterization)

  • Data from the SR-71 high-speed research program will be used to aid designers of future supersonic/hypersonic aircraft and propulsion systems, including a high-speed civil transport.

Nasa s sr 71 and a 12
NASA’s SR-71 and A-12 compressor first stage

Bye bye blackbird
Bye-bye, Blackbird. compressor first stage

[Jenkins], p. 85

One airplane several names
One airplane, several names compressor first stage

  • A(rchangel)-12

  • Blackbird

  • Cygnus

  • Habu

  • Senior Crown

  • SR-71 as Strategic Reconnaissance, but also...

  • YF-12

Reference list
Reference List compressor first stage

  • Burrows, William E., “The Oxcart Cometh,” Air&Space Magazine, Vol. 13 (6), Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C., Feb./Mar. 1999.

  • Crickmore, Paul F., “LOCKHEED SR-71 – The Secret Missions Exposed,” BAS Printers Limited, Great Britain, 1993.

  • Drendel, Lou, “SR-71 Blackbird in action,” Squadron/Signal Publications, Inc., Carrolton, TX, 1982.

  • “Jane’s All the World Aircraft” from years 68/69, 69/70, 74/75.

  • Jenkins, Dennis R., “SR-71/YF-12 BLACKBIRDS”, WARBIRDTECH series, vol. 10, Specialty Press Publishers and Wholesalers, 1997.

  • Johnson, Clarence L., “Some Development Aspects of the YF-12A Interceptor Aircraft,” AIAA Paper No. 69-757, 1969.

  • Whitford, Ray, “Design for Air Combat”.