Tribute to SR-71 Blackbird.

Here's an eyecandy video I found at Norwood Matt's Stuff on Fire: the SR-71 Blackbird or known by its crew as Habu. How awesome is the plane?

1. Prototypes were flying as early as 1962.

2. It cruises at Mach 3. On afterburner. Really. It’s designed to do that all the time. This thing is the Real Ultimate Power of planes.

3. It’s skin is titanium, purchased from Russia, to spy on Russians. Pwned!

4. The pilots wear pressurized space suits. This is a good idea given its operational ceiling is higher than 80,000 feet.

5. Thousands of missiles have been fired at it. None have ever caught it. Pilots watching enemy missiles drop away behind them describe the experience as “very gratifying.”

6. The SR-71 is one of the first stealth planes. Based on its ginormous size (over 100 feet long), it should have a RADAR print the size of a barn. Instead, because of features such as its inward-canting stabilizers and hard chines, it has the RADAR print of a door.

Hit play or go to Link [YouTube] The song is Saltwater [YouTube] by Chicane [wiki] (with Moya Brennan [wiki] of Clannad. She's the sister of Enya.) Link: Stuff on Fire

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My father flew the SR-71 for a number of years, and oh the stories he tells (especially now since it's mostly declassified). What an amazing piece of machinery.
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I like this quote from wikipedia:

"The aircraft flew so fast and so high that if the pilot detected a surface-to-air missile launch, the standard evasive action was simply to accelerate."
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It's not designed to kill people. I am anti-military as well for similar reasons. I am still in awe of this aircraft.

How about the rumor (I don't happen to believe it) that George H.W. Bush (#41) flew to Iran in 1979 on an SR-71 to negotiate the "October Surprise" wherein the American hostages in Tehran weren't released until after Ronald Reagan was sworn in as President?

Pacifists are allowed to appreciate incredible engineering feats and physical beauty, too. The SR-71 is a very, very special specimen.
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My dad worked on these babies when they were in production. He didn't even what he did until I was more than 30 years old. I thought nobody's dad ever talked about work... heh.

Not long ago, he and I went and saw one sitting on the ground at a museum near St. Pete, FL, at Eglin, and he went up and patted the thing like it was a dog.

On the other hand, I was just speechless. It's a gorgeous, sexy, piece of machinery. It's like a giant black Ferrari. The pilots must have been giggling every time they took off. So, so, many really cool ideas made this thing fly. And it's drop-dead gorgeous to boot.

everywordmeans, this plane only shoots pictures. A ton of things we take for granted in photography sprang out of the work done in labs for the Blackbird. Its actual operational ceiling is still classified, if what I read recently is still correct.

Maneuverability and shooting are for smaller, more nimble aircraft.
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