a little taste of our visit to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Middle knows a lot about the Blackbird.


Anonymous said…
I think he got it, but he left out the key word. which is HEAT. the fuselage would get so hot - along with underlying components like fuel tanks - that they would expand causing the fuel tanks to stop leaking. But yes, they leaked like a sieve on the ground.

kkc135 said…
"Love the smell of JP4 in the morning!" something my husband said often as he was a KC-135 pilot who refueled these beauties. He actually has that tail number in his log. Such a cool plane - How sad it no longer flies!
Anonymous said…
Blackbird! It must be your favorite. My favorite plane is the Concorde. "No bumps, no bangs...Concorde."

Anonymous said…
In order for the SR-71 to fly the worldwide missions, it has a special fleet of modified KC-135Q tankers for refueling. SR-71s run on JP-7 fuel, that fills the six large tanks in the fuselage. The component parts of the Blackbird fit very loosely together to allow for expansion at high temperatures. At rest on the ground, fuel leaks out constantly, since the tanks in the fuselage and wings only seal at operating temperatures. There is little danger of fire since the JP-7 fuel is very stable with an extremely high flash point.

Mach 3.5 at FL100 yowsa
kmkat said…
I saw the SR71 take off any number of times from Kadena AFB on Okinawa in 1980-81. It always launched after dark because it was so *top secret*, but shops in the town outside the main gate sold posters of it. Locals called it The Habu, after a native, extremely poisonous snake.

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