UHC SR-71 Overview - Roadrunners Internationale

UHC SR-71 Overview - Roadrunners Internationale
UHC SR-71 Overview
UHC SR-71 Overview
Jan 05
Buz Carpenter
UHC Docent
- Development
- Operations
- Vignettes
- Questions
DEFINITIONS: Spying & Reconnaissance
-- Hot air Balloons
--- Civil War
--- WWI - Caudron G4, & Spad XVI
--- WWII – Spitfire, P-38(F-5 recon Variant)
--- High altitude recon challenges – cold & moisture
COLD WAR - Soviet Union – Closed Society
- Modified current aircraft – limited Success
- Kelly Johnson – Skunk Works
-- P-38, P-80, F-104, U-2, & finally SR-71
--- U-2 – First a/c designed & built for Reconnaissance
--- Over Flight and Political consequences - Pres Eisenhower
-- SPACE PROGRAMS - yet to deliver Corona Program
-- TO SURVIVE – need Speed, Altitude and Reduced Radar
Kelly Johnson – Master of the Lockheed Skunk Works
Famous Lockheed Skunk Works Logo
-Logo Started in
- Kelly Johnson’s
development of P-80
Jet Fighter in Top
Secrecy – Partition
off part of Lockheed
-Fighter production
was 37/day - Based on Lil Abner
- 972 last years was
as a test asset at the
Skunk Works at
Palmdale, Calif
SR-71 –Push Technology
-Goal: Mach 3+, above 80,000ft, & Low RCS
- Achieved 3.3Mach+, 85,000 ft, 2200 mph, 1 Sq
Meter Radar Cross Section(RCS) return
-Kelly Johnson considered this his greatest Challenge
and Achievement
- A-11 Archangel - Leads to 2 fielded programs
-- A-12 Ox Cart – CIA Led
--- Single seat- primarily Imagery
--- 13 built – 5 lost
--- Was lighter & Flew Higher than SR-71
-- SR-71 Senior Crown - USAF
--- 2 Crew members & Multi-Intelligence
--- 32 built/12 lost
--- Unsurpassed technology
--- National policy – Who will do over flights?
SR- 71 Aircraft Characteristics
-Last major U.S. Aircraft designed with Slide rule
-America’s first stealthy Aircraft
-Tremendous heat environment drives whole new
-- Titanium 93% of A/C – Russian sponge source
-- Special Fuel –JP-7
-- Fleet of dedicated tankers - KC-135Qs plus on call
-- Liquid Nitrogen Dewars for inerting fuel tanks
-- Special Hydraulic fluids – normal system 3200 psi
-- Fuel used as Hydraulic for Engine Nozzle control
SR-71 Surface Temperature Profile
-Ave Temp
around 600F
-Surface Temp
Range 4001200F
- Pilot’s Pie
Windows 620F
-A/C Growth
L 3-4 Inches
W 1-2 Inches
- Graphite
composites used
on Edges to
defeat Radars
Heat Environment During Cruise
-Blue Black paint – radiate heat away from aircraft
surface and reduces surface temperature by up to 50F
degrees at 3.2 Mach, Provides some Visual
Protection against a black sky, & Minute Ferrite
Particles in paint help Defuse Radar Energy
-Glass – Quartz laminated glass 2.0 inches thick
-Oil a solid at 32 degrees – Preheat engines to 70F
before start
-Fuel used as Coolant thru Heat Exchangers for
aircrew, sensors, oil & hydraulics systems
-Special Electrical wire to withstand the heat
S R -7 1 G r a p h ite A ir fr a m e M a te r ia l
Double Delta
Wing Design
Forward Lifting
Body- 35% lift @
3.2 Mach
Fly higher
Altitude and
make Steeper
turns – 45 deg
Cruise with nose
up to create
lifting body effect
– Engines Level
Sonic Boom Sound of
Elevons Mixer
Assembly – blend
pitch & roll
inputs to back
Aerodynamic Characteristics
SR-71 Mission Recorder System Data
-Records over 650+
Specific Flight &
Sensor activities
-On when power is
on aircraft
-Data points
recorded at set
intervals depending
on system needs
-Voice recording
part of system
- Key factor in
achieving almost
95% maintenance
operational mission
Landing Gear & Tires
- Largest Titanium Forging
on aircraft
- Tires BF Goodrich 22 ply
-Aluminum Silver coating
to reduce thermal stress
- Pressure 425 PSI filled
With N2
- Good for about 15
- One of the most sensitive
operational parts of
- Three aircraft lost due to
tire failures. 1 Max Brake
Test – 950 & Max Weight
Takeoff - 954 at Edwards
AFB & 977 at Beale AFB.
A fourth aircraft, 978, was
lost on landing at Kadena
AB, Japan and tire failure
was a large contributor
Wheel Basket protector in Landing Gear Well
-Enclosed Main Wheel
-- Protects aircraft
from possible tire
explosion inside
landing gear well as
this area had major
hydraulic lines routed
through it
-- Reduces heat stress
on main tires by
insulating them from
hot exterior
temperatures – critical
consideration for
operating this aircraft
Lockheed Skunk Works SR-71 production line
SR-71 Stability Issues – Pitch & Yaw Divergent
-A/C shows
stability in
Pitch & Yaw
-Pitot Static
Tube Ys to
Airspeed from
center shaft &
Constant Pitch
& Yaw inputs
for Stability
System from
side shaft
Steam Cockpit with mostly round dials & Analog displays
-Typical late 50s
cockpit – Steam
Round Dials
--Map projector in
lower middle- great
innovation- not in
A-12 cockpit
- Triple display
Indicator had
Mach, Altitude and
Knots Equivalent
-Could manually
adjust Engine
- Laser Peripheral
Vision Display
SR-71 Electronic Defensive Systems
- Powerful
DEF Systems
provide SAM
& Air -to- Air
- 100s SAMs
fired at
- Numerous
- Nose ant
- Lower ant
Threat Jam
PRIMARY -2 UHF COMNAV 50 Radios – Forward antenna
-UHF Antennas – Left
forward and aft right
-UHF Secure comm
and tanker ranging
- Fix Tanker position
beyond 300nm with
COMNAV 50 range
& ADF bearing
function present with
- HF ARC-190 radio
using nose and pitot
boom as antenna
SR-71 VHF Radio ARC-186
-VHF radio
location under
left rear chine
near where the
wing joins
- Note
rearward whip
like antenna
SR-71 Astro-inertial Computer/Navigation System
-Geodetic marker in
each Hangar for
alignment reference
-Computer loading
tapes and alignment 1
hour & 45 minutes+
prior to Engine start
- Astro tracker behind
RSO would track
three stars on clear
day within 30 seconds
after leaving hangar –
precision location
- Guaranteed
President 300 ft
anywhere in world
traveling at 2200
PYROPHORIC to Ignite JP-7 Fuel
TEB – Triethylborane
-TEB being
loaded by
with the Fire
standing by.
- Each engine
must be
separately to
the TEB tank
mounted on
that engine
- Mechanical
start with two
Buick Wildcat
engines under
-Chemical Engine
Ignition –Start &
A/B initiation
-- TEB Triethylborane
that Ignites with
air @ 3000F
-- Highly toxic &
-- 16 guaranteed
ignition shots with
counter on each
Engine Start
SR-71 P & W J58 Engine
Weight 6,000Lbs
Thrust 34,000 lbs
Bleed Bypass
Turbojet Engine
with Afterburner
Normal Idle
RPM 3975
6 By-pass tubes
create part of the
High Mach Ram
- Air from 4th
stage compressor
is dumped in
front of A/B
section for
additional thrust
& cooling
J58 Engine run in full afterburner
-First Engine
capable of sustained
A/B use 1.25 – 1.75
hrs during Climb &
-Rocknite ceramic
coating in A/B
section helps protect
afterburner metal
- 13 A/B pressure
Jewels in perfectly
operating engine
-Core Engine Temp
J-58 Engine Testing in Afterburner at Lockheed Martin Corp.
Air Inlet Spike for Controlling the Shock Waves
-Mechanical Spike
starts moving aft at
1.6 Mach with 1 5/8
inch movement for
each tenth of a
-Total movement at
3.2 Mach is 26
-Shock wave is
actually carried
inside to reduce
-Opens inlet entry
area by 112% and
closes down inlet
throat by 54% by
3.2 mach
Engine/Inlet Controls
-Forward Bypass doors
automatic – normally
-Aft Bypass doors have
manually set positions –
Closed, 15%, 50% and open
-Suck-in doors, Tertiary Doors
and ejector Flaps are
controlled by relative pressures
-Engine Internal Guide Vanes
(IGVs) shift to sustain
supersonic cruise and provide
additional thrust for take-off
-- IGV in Axial position
subsonic to about 1.7-2.3 Mach.
Cambered for Higher Mach
No Air Movement – Spike locked forward, most doors open to get
extra air to engine. AFT Bypass doors & Ejector Flaps closed
Ambient pressure at sea level 14.7 psi
Mid- Subsonic air flow - Spike locked forward, Forward Bypass doors
closed, Aft Bypass doors closed, Tertiary doors open and ejector Flaps
Low supersonic airflow – Spike locked forward, suck –in doors and tertiary
Doors closed. Ejector flaps opening depending on engine thrust pressure &
forward bypass doors modulating as required
RAM THRUST EFFECT starting to become noticeable- Spike translating aft
as speed increases, Aft Bypass probably 15% open & Forward Bypass
modulating. Ejector Flaps now further open
Design Top Speed -Inlets tight – Spike full aft, Aft Bypass doors closed,
Forward Bypass just barely modulating, ejector flaps normally full open
Ram Effect Comparison –
Outside Pressure at 80,000 ft 0.4psi - at Compressor face 14-16 psi
2.2 Mach Thrust contributors Engine 73%, Inlet 13% & Ejectors 14% - Ram effect 27%
3.2 Mach Thrust contributors Engine 17%, Inlet 54%, & Ejectors 29% - Ram effect 83%
SR-71 Training - A CONSTANT
Special Unit –
All volunteers
1 Year initial
Home: each
month - 3 SR
flights, 1
Simulator & up
to 8 T-38
trainer flights
Overseas - you
fly SR-71 as
required by
Operations &
Defining Moments
Your first Crew picture
You are now recognized as
part of the crew force – all be
it still in training
- Significant milestones: First
flight, First Mach 3 flight,
First Crew flight, 1st 3.2 Mach
Flight, 45 Degree High Bank
Turns Flight and finally Night
Aircrew Mission Responsibilities
Pilot – Aircraft
accountable for
aircraft & mission
Flies A/C, Engine
Inlet control, Air
Refueling, Fuel
System Officer Navigator – had
Navigation, Sensor
Controls, Tanker
Defensive Systems
operation, Checklist
execution, & most
radio calls
Original Gemini Based Suit
-About same weight. Suits either
White or Chocolate Brown
-More restricted movement
-Note stir-ups on boot heels – attach
to lanyard to bring heel against
ejection seat during ejection to
prevent collision with cockpit
-Rocket ejection seat one of the
safest ever made. No USAF fatalities
during program
- Seat tested from on the ground
during take-off roll to 80,000ft at full
speed of the aircraft
-8-10 minutes controlled fall from
80,000ft to 15,000ft. Here large
parachute automatically opened and
15 minutes to descend to sea level
- Suit provided crewmember all the
protection they needed from air blast
1030 SR-71 Pressure Suit
-Required for flight above
-David Clark Co. created
-Suit life around 12 years and
cost about $250,000
-Suit weighs about 45 lbs
-Suit Basically four layers
-- Inner nylon layer for
-- Rubber bladder for
-- Adjustable fish net to give
the suit its shape
-- Outer layer of Fipro, fire
resistant material good to
about 800 F
-You flew with the suit
deflated at your 26,000 ft
cockpit altitude. Only
pressurized during an
1030 SR-71 Pressure Suit
-Shoulder area expanded for
greater cockpit flexibility
-Velcro used to loosely attach
-Right valve is vent control where
ventilating air came in
-Left control is pressure valve to
inflate the suit for comfort or
during an emergency
-Strap in center is to keep helmet
from riding up with suit inflation.
Could literally pull your head out
of helmet without it
-Boots about 1-2 sizes larger than
you normally wore
-Mae West in parachute harness
that inflated automatically with
water contact
SR-71 Helmet & Gloves
-Helmet weighs about 10
-Special face plate glass
for pilot – distortion free
and Plexi-glass for RSO
-Both have fine gold
mesh heating elements to
prevent fogging
-Dual O2 systems
-Water/food access port
on Right hand side. Turn
head to use
-Microphone in front of
-Gloves are three layers
Cotton surgical glove,
rubber layer, and
leather/fipro layer
SR-71 shoulder patch
worn only by each
SR-71 Pilot and
System Officer on the
left shoulder of their
pressure suits
COST of $250,000
included: Suit,
Helmet, Parachute
Harness, oxygen
regulator and suit
pressure controller
SR-71 HABU patch
worn by SR-71 Pilots
and Reconnaissance
System Officers on
their normal flight
This acknowledged
that you had flown an
operational mission in
the SR-71
HABU was the
unofficial name given
the aircraft by the
Okinawans – In
Japanese means
deadly Cobra like
Symbol of SR-71 team.
This patch was worn by
anyone working in some
capacity on the program.
It was truly a team with
the Pilot & RSO playing
one of the few highly
visible roles
-Included Aircraft
Physiological Support
Division, Sensor Support,
Mission planning, Film &
SIGINT Recorder
processing, Intelligence,
& many other wing
SR-71 Survival Kit
-Packed into seat Kit
the aircrew members
sat on
-Kit included
individual life raft
- Kit was manually
deployed after
ejection when near
the ground or water
- Survival kit was
about the same as the
USAF kits of this
time other than a
special life raft for
boarding in a space
Speed Run Route from London to Los Angeles
3 Hours & 48 minutes -Average Speed – 1438 MPH
-Typical map the
aircrew would
have carried on
flight and used as
back-up reference
-Would be in
computer mission
planning packet
for review before
- Not much room
in cockpit to carry
many materials
and awkward to
use in Pressure
Normal Flight Day - Process
-Report 2 ½ Hours
prior to Takeoff
-Short Physical
-High protein & low
residue meal of Steak
& Eggs
- 1:15 hour+ change
into Cotton Long
Johns to start suiting
up process
-Suit is laid out on
floor and you pull suit
over yourself from the
back of suit
-With help of two
Physiological Support
technicians –
everything was
command & response
Donning Process Continues
-Donning(suiting –up)
process normally took
10-15 minutes to
- Here final adjustments
are made before helmet
and gloves are donned
-Three layers of glove
significantly reduced
your sense of feel. Had
to be very careful as you
moved switches, etc
-Each of us had two
complete pressure suits
with helmets
Pressure Suit Functional Checks
-Oxygen Sys
-Inner suit
seals between
helmet and
suit , entry
zipper &
glove seals
for overall
suit pressure
-Face Heat
Inflated Suit Check
-Suit tested for pressurization
and any leakage
-Held your breath and felt like
the Pillsbury Doughboy
-To feel the suit at this point it
felt very rigid
-Final adjustments are made to
the suit and the ejection seat
stir-ups are installed on boots
- Most common leak area was
at the glove seals
-1030 suit bulkier but
more comfortable
than Gemini suits
-This “business” work
suit was not for the
-In Pressure suit for
up to 13 hours –
normally more like 4-6
Used slow deliberate
movements so that the
suit went with you and
then the suit did not
fight or restrict your
This suit was later
used on the Space
Shuttle test flights
Lockheed Test Pilot Bob Gilliland – 1st to Fly SR-71 22 Dec 1964
-Note access ramps
on both sides of
aircraft to install
crew members into
-Bob is wearing the
original Silver
Pressure suit
- Silver was used to
reflect the heat
away to protect the
aircrew member
- Portable suit
cooler is right
beside him. Start
heating up in less
than 10 minutes
without this
Physiological Support people Installing Pilot in Cockpit
Engine Start –Buick Wildcats
-A pair of Buick
Wildcat Engines
connected in tandem
drive a manual drive
shaft to turn over the
large J58 engines
from underneath the
-At 1000 rpm engine
ignition is started
with a shot of TEB
as the Throttle is set
to idle
-At around 3200 rpm
the shaft senses
engine acceleration
and automatically
-Engine Start
30 min prior to
Take Off
down – 100%
O2 – 30 minute
breathing O2
reduces N2 in
blood by 50%
to reduce
possible Bends
-Taxi route &
length critical
to A/C tires
-Flight control
checks here
- Note JP-7
fuel on hangar
floor- Always
Ready to Taxi
Takeoff & Climb Data
-Take-off - one of your greatest
senses of speed and power
Release brakes, select A/Bs –
always asymmetrical lights –20
seconds thru 4,500 ft and lift
off at 210 knots (~240 mph)
-Pass thru 20,000ft in about 2
minutes after brake release
-Climb/accelerate to 75,000ft+
will take another 17 minutes,
consume 1/3 of your fuel, and
roughly fly about 360 nautical
-Level off and establish a cruise
climb profile as you burn down
-Hostile over flight must be
75,000ft+ & 3.15 Mach to enter
enemy airspace
SR-71 View from 80,000ft +
-Curvature of
-See 350+
-Black sky
over head as
most of air is
below you
-16 miles up
with no real
sense of speed
-Quiet because
you are in
Space suit and
Supersonic noise is behind
-Almost same
-Better view of
land – Lake
below with
Sierra Nevada
-Give museum
guests better
sense of the
view from on
Starry night
view as 90% of
the stars at
altitude are not
visible on the
View from U-2 at 70,000 ft +
SR-71 Sensor Combinations
-Multiple sensor
-- Nose- Training,
Synthetic Aperture
Radar, & Optical Bar
-- Side bays -Technical
Objective Pointing
System (EMR) ,
mission recorders,
Radar recorders, etc
-- Center bay Terrain
-Nose – Optical Bar
Camera (OBC) – film
100,000sq miles/hr, film
image 72 miles wide, &
film length 10,500ft OR
Synthetic Aperture Radar
(SAR) with 12” res in
spot mode 25-85 NM
either side. Can do 10
nautical wide swaths
either side of aircraft at
20-100 nm with 10ft res
– Technical Objective
Cameras- Mounted both
sides of Chine controlled
by computer – 100s of
targets/mission with sub
12” res possible – out to
20 nm on side mounted
- Electromagnetic Recon
Sys - Electronic horizon
600nm+ Greatest ELINT
gatherer of its time
SR- Used as stimulating
aircraft of enemy on
Coordinated Missions
Toughest missions -Not over flights because political risk already taken ,
but right on the border @ Mach 3+ flights with no over flight authority –
even in the case of an emergency. Very strict Rules of Engagement
Descent planning – Slow and cool down aircraft
-Start down
220+nm back and
it will take 10
minutes to 25,000ft
-Carefully come
out of A/B
-Narrow speed &
altitude profile to
maintain during
descent to assure
A/C cooling and
prevent engine
compressor stalls
-Figure every two
hours and 2800nm
(~3200 Statue
miles) it’s time to
refuel or land
SR-71 Air Refueling Receptacle
-Air Refueling receptacle puts you
well under the tanker
- Transfer about 6,000 lbs/min (1000
-Refueling normally 12-15 minutes
- One of the more demanding parts
of the Pilot & RSO training
-- Pilot to handle the SR-71 under
tanker in contact position & using
A/B at higher fuel load weights
-Normally lighting an A/B while
remaining in contact – timing on air
refuelings was often critical
-RSO to plan and execute
supersonic rendezvous with descent
and guidance to hook-up
-Operational missions were
normally radio silent; maintaining
a listening watch
KC-135Q Tanker refueling SR-71 - 952
KC-10 Refueling SR-71
Normally Multiple Tankers for Air Refueling
-Multiple tankers for
-Overseas many times
distant A/R tracks too far
for single tanker to cover
SR-71 fuel off-load
-Extra tanker in case of
Tanker abort because of
equipment malfunction
during refueling
-California to Northern
Coast of Russia & Back –
tapped 15 tankers during 5
air refuelings on a 10.4 hour
mission off-loading 72,000
gals plus – covering 15,000
Approaching tanker to position yourself in contact position
Note director lights on belly of Tanker aircraft – Boomer in window
SR-71 refueling from KC-135 Q – View from SR-71 Cockpit
Air Refueling Limits & Guidance
-Center yellow strip on tanker belly to
give center line reference
-Director lights on forward belly of
– Captains bars in center mark desired
aircraft contact position
---- Up & Down on left side
----Right side guides Forward & Aft
- Critical to have full fuel tanks at the
end of the air refueling track
-Many missions had also a critical end
air refueling time to make good a
directed time in the objective area
SR-71 Refueling in the Contact Position
SR-71 B-Model
refueling over
El Paso, Texas
B- Model SR71 Trainer
aircraft had
dual controls in
the front and
back seats for
initial &
pilot training,
check rides, and
VIP orientation
Note fuel
leaking from
wing tanks &
elevated rear
cockpit for
Instructor Pilot
SR-71 Approach & Landing
-Land with
normally less
than 10,000lbs
-Approach A/S
175 knots + fuel
-Land 155 knots
+ Fuel (~ 170+
landing critical
on tires
-Deploy drag
chute on landing
–jettison by 55
-Roll-out 4-5,000
ft on 10,000ft
After Taxing & Parking in SR-71 Shelter
As Engines are shut
down cooling air is
applied to the hot
aircraft brakes
The brakes were
actually undersized
for the aircraft’s
weight to save on
weight – creating a
critical aircraft
operating factor
Sensor download after Engine shut down
-Here an Objective Technical Camera
is downloaded from a side bay onto a
dolly which will then be wheeled into
the photo facility for film down
-Aircraft optical sensor systems were
complete units which included the
Quartz optical glass window & would
be installed into a side bay or with
the panoramic camera being installed
as one of the interchangeable noses.
-Aircraft nose had three
configurations, training as you see at
the UHC, SAR radar which
externally looks the same or optical
which had large glass windows in the
center bottom of the nose
Initial Dark Room film assessment - preprocessing
-All film had to be inspected
by hand to detect torn or
broken film
-Color film had to be done in
pitch black conditions
-Film cut into 500 ft lengths
with headers and tails spliced
on for processing This
insured speedy processing
and if there were an accident
only a limited amount of film
might be effected
-SR-71 picture of
Seattle Kingdom from
80,000ft +
- Black & White as a
single emulsion thick
gives the best film
resolution – sub 12
inches possible
Rare Color picture of Beale AFB from 85,000 ft
-Used mostly
Black & White
film as the
resolution was
much better and
much less
-Color film
excellent for
detection but had
much longer
processing time
Patch of the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing
Wing For SR-71s and KC-135Qs. Later gained U-2s which they are
still flying today. The USAF’s Global Hawk, Unmanned Aerial
Vehicle, is assigned with them at Beale AFB - Home of High Altitude
Recon for USAF
The Only SR-71 Squadron. It’s linage went back to the first
Military Aero squadron in the Army Signal Corp formed in 1913
Some Good SR-71 BS – Stuff that tours are made of
FAREWELL – Last Shot of SR Fleet before being dispersed
Why Retirement? … Cold War over -Threat diminished, Too Costly -$85,000/hour, &
Never had a real time data link to bring the information immediately to the decision maker
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