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Episode Markers
  • 01:15
     
    #nose boom   
    The nose boom contains the pitot tube and static sources.
  • 01:57
     
    #Pratt & Whitney J-58 engines   
    The SR-71 is powered by two Pratt & Whitney J-58 engines.
  • 02:07
     
    #engine spike is sharp   
    The tip of the engine spike is sharp and is covered on the ground.
  • 02:26
     
    #inlet spike retract   
    The SR-71 inlet spike retracts to keep the airflow subsonic for optimal performance. As speed increases, the inlet retracts.
  • 02:53
     
    #wet wings    #wings will leak   
    The SR-71 uses wet wings meaning that the outside skin of the wings is also the wall of the fuel tank. The SR-71 wings will leak until they fly and build up enough heat to seal them.
  • 03:05
     
    #gap when cool   
    Closeup of seem on wing of SR-71 showing gap when cool.
  • 03:21
     
    #expand by almost 6 inches   
    The heat of flight causes the SR-71 to expand by almost 6 inches.
  • 03:36
     
    #400-1200 Fahrenheit   
    The skin of the SR-71 varies from 400-1200 Fahrenheit.
  • 04:25
     
    #impregnated with aluminum   
    The main gear tires on the SR-71 are impregnated with aluminum and inflated to more than 400 PSI with Nitrogen.
  • 04:56
     
    #elevons in motion   
    Rear view of SR-71 showing up-down pitch and left-right roll of the elevons in motion.
  • 05:40
     
    #Longitudinal corrugations   
    Longitudinal corrugations are on the wings to help maintain shape in the heat.
  • 06:08
     
    #green flame when starting the SR-71 engines   
    JP-7 is very difficult to ignite, so triethylborane(TEB) is used to start the engines. This causes a green flame when starting the SR-71 engines.
  • 07:00
     
    #SR-71 2 seat trainer   
    SR-71 2 seat trainer taxiing out.
  • 07:35
     
    #SR-71 take off   
    Talking through SR-71 take off.
  • 09:00
     
    #dipsy-doodle maneuver   
    The transition from subsonic to supersonic flight begins at about 35000 feet and incorporates the dipsy-doodle maneuver.
  • 10:54
     
    #small pop-up periscope   
    There is a small pop-up periscope to visually confirm the rudders are trim and not creating unnecessary drag.
  • 11:45
     
    #SR-71 landing procedures   
    Talking through the SR-71 landing procedures.
  • 13:25
     
    #cooling fans by the wheels   
    The ground crew places cooling fans by the wheels then waits for the craft to cool.

Details of how the SR-71 works

The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird was the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft to ever to see operational service. Behold the cockpit of one of the finest spy planes ever built, the SR-71 Blackbird. The Blackbird, created by Lockheed Martin's famous Skunkworks, was a revolutionary platform for its time. Described by a former pilot as "107 feet of fire-breathing titanium," the Blackbird's groundbreaking construction made it unique among planes, and made it to the fastest plane in the world. Most of the controls explored in this video are relatively standard, however a few stand out. Item 12 on the list, the environmental controls, affect standard cockpit conditions like temperature, but also control the temperature of the pilot's flight suits. "The Blackbird plane always showed us something new, worth seeing each aircraft possessing its own unique personality. In time, we realized we were flying a national treasure. When we taxied out of our revetments for takeoff, people took notice. That Changed the World for me"






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