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Ewan S

1,285 posts

112 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Whats the difference between an A12 and SR71?

Vieste

Original Poster:

10,532 posts

45 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
The one on intrepid had a single seat i think when i went to see her.

AshVX220

2,096 posts

75 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
blueedge said:
PD9 said:
Saw this plane in the flesh in NYC, on the USS Intrepid a few years back. Superb. Thanks for the link.
Pardon my pedantry but the one on the Intrepid is an A-12 rather than an SR-71. An equally great aircraft though.
I saw the on on Intrepid too (though thought it was an SR-71 like most people), I thought the A-12 was supposed to be stealthy Carrier bourne fighter, or was that something else?

Hooli

27,648 posts

85 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Ewan S said:
Whats the difference between an A12 and SR71?
Wasn't the A12 the original(ish) spec for a high speed fighter? Poss single seat from a hazy memory. I seem to recall an internal weapons bay for air to air missiles as well.

FourWheelDrift

61,127 posts

169 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Differences between A-12 and SR71 - http://roadrunnersinternationale.com/a-12s.html

Plus
A-12 operated by the CIA
SR71 operated by the USAF
Advertisement

Seight_Returns

991 posts

86 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Hooli said:
Wasn't the A12 the original(ish) spec for a high speed fighter? Poss single seat from a hazy memory. I seem to recall an internal weapons bay for air to air missiles as well.
There were 2 very different aircraft designated A-12. The Mc Donnell Douglas A-12 Avenger - a never built stealth attack aircraft for the Navy to replace the A-6 Intruder that you allude to - and the Lockheed A-12 Oxcart, the CIA operated reconnaisance aircraft very similar to the SR-71.

I've seen the Oxcart designated as both YF-12, which makes sense for an experimental aircraft - and as A-12 which makes no sense to me at all given its role.

Edited by Seight_Returns on Friday 12th October 14:46

Craigyp79

337 posts

68 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
SR-71 on the left and the A-12 on the right.


aeropilot

8,776 posts

112 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
gazapc said:
Seight_Returns said:
Note the casual reference in the link to overflights of the Falkland Islands. It doesn't state that it was during the 1982 conflict but have read references elsewhere of US photo reconnaissance assisting the UK during the conflict.

Where would they have flown from and to to overfly the Falklands ?
The Pentagon went to the extent of publically denying SR71 flights over the islands, maybe that tells us all we need to know about what did happen...
http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1982/1...
God knows how many tankers they would have needed to get it there, they could have hardly flown it from Ascension with no one noticing though.
It's known SR-71's completed up to 10hr duration, 15,000 mile in-flight refuelled missions, and 15-16,000 miles would be about the distance of a run down the eastern Pacific from Beale AFB and across the bottom tip of South America to the FI and return again.
So entirely possible. Whether it happened or not is another matter though.

blueedge

307 posts

82 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
I've travelled around a bit and seen eight of the A-12, SR-71 plus the single YF-12, they're all mightily impressive in the flesh:


SR-71


SR-71


A-12


YF-12

Roberty

952 posts

57 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Seight_Returns said:
Hooli said:
Wasn't the A12 the original(ish) spec for a high speed fighter? Poss single seat from a hazy memory. I seem to recall an internal weapons bay for air to air missiles as well.
There were 2 very different aircraft designated A-12. The Mc Donnell Douglas A-12 Avenger - a never built stealth attack aircraft for the Navy to replace the A-6 Intruder that you allude to - and the Lockheed A-12 Oxcart, the CIA operated reconnaisance aircraft very similar to the SR-71.

I've seen the Oxcart designated as both YF-12, which makes sense for an experimental aircraft - and as A-12 which makes no sense to me at all given its role.

Edited by Seight_Returns on Friday 12th October 14:46
The YF-12 differed from the CIA's A-12, the YF-12 was a proposed high speed interceptor version using a massive long range air to air missle, the Hughes AIM-47 Falcon housed in four internal missle bays.

The YF-12 was based on the A-12 but lost the chined flat nose for a more conventional radome housing a long range radar.

3 prototypes were built designated YF-12A the production unit was to be called the F-12B and the Airforce wanted to order up to 100 units but funding never materialised due to the cost of fighting the Vietnam war.

Eventually the requirement was dropped and the project abandonned.



Tango13

3,309 posts

61 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
hornetrider said:
Is there ever a bad time for this?

There were a lot of things we couldn't do in an SR-71 Blackbird (The Air Force/NASA super fast, highest flying reconnaissance jet, nicknamed, "The Sled"), but we were the fastest guys on the block and loved reminding our fellow aviators of this fact. People often asked us if, because of this fact, it was fun to fly the jet. Fun would not be the first word I would use to describe flying this plane - intense, maybe, even cerebral. But there was one day in our Sled experience when we would have to say that it was pure fun to be the fastest guys out there, at least for a moment.

It occurred when Walt and I were flying our final training sortie. We needed 100 hours in the jet to complete our training and attain Mission Ready status. Somewhere over Colorado we had passed the century mark. We had made the turn in Arizona and the jet was performing flawlessly. My gauges were wired in the front seat and we were starting to feel pretty good about ourselves, not only because we would soon be flying real missions but because we had gained a great deal of confidence in the plane in the past ten months. Ripping across the barren deserts 80,000 feet below us, I could already see the coast of California from the Arizona border. I was, finally, after many humbling months of simulators and study, ahead of the jet. I was beginning to feel a bit sorry for Walter in the back seat.

There he was, with no really good view of the incredible sights before us, tasked with monitoring four different radios. This was good practice for him for when we began flying real missions, when a priority transmission from headquarters could be vital. It had been difficult, too, for me to relinquish control of the radios, as during my entire flying career I had controlled my own transmissions. But it was part of the division of duties in this plane and I had adjusted to it. I still insisted on talking on the radio while we were on the ground, however. Walt was so good at many things, but he couldn't match my expertise at sounding smooth on the radios, a skill that had been honed sharply with years in fighter squadrons where the slightest radio miscue was grounds for beheading. He understood that and allowed me that luxury. Just to get a sense of what Walt had to contend with, I pulled the radio toggle switches and monitored the frequencies along with him.

The predominant radio chatter was from Los Angeles Center, far below us, controlling daily traffic in their sector. While they had us on their scope (albeit briefly), we were in uncontrolled airspace and normally would not talk to them unless we needed to descend into their airspace. We listened as the shaky voice of a lone Cessna pilot who asked Center for a read-out of his ground speed. Center replied: “November Charlie 175, I'm showing you at ninety knots on the ground.”

Now the thing to understand about Center controllers was that whether they were talking to a rookie pilot in a Cessna or to Air Force One, they always spoke in the exact same, calm, deep, professional tone that made one feel important. I referred to it as the "Houston Center voice." I have always felt that after years of seeing documentaries on this country's space program and listening to the calm and distinct voice of the Houston controllers, that all other controllers since then wanted to sound like that and that they basically did. And it didn't matter what sector of the country we would be flying in, it always seemed like the same guy was talking. Over the years that tone of voice had become somewhat of a comforting sound to pilots everywhere. Conversely, over the years, pilots always wanted to ensure that, when transmitting, they sounded like Chuck Yeager, or at least like John Wayne. Better to die than sound bad on the radios. Just moments after the Cessna's inquiry, a Twin Beech piped up on frequency, in a rather superior tone, asking for his ground speed in Beech. “I have you at one hundred and twenty-five knots of ground speed.”

Boy, I thought, the Beechcraft really must think he is dazzling his Cessna brethren. Then out of the blue, a navy F-18 pilot out of NAS Lemoore came up on frequency. You knew right away it was a Navy jock because he sounded very cool on the radios. “Center, Dusty 52 ground speed check.” Before Center could reply, I'm thinking to myself, hey, Dusty 52 has a ground speed indicator in that million-dollar cockpit, so why is he asking Center for a read-out? Then I got it, ol' Dusty here is making sure that every bug smasher from Mount Whitney to the Mojave knows what true speed is. He's the fastest dude in the valley today, and he just wants everyone to know how much fun he is having in his new Hornet. And the reply, always with that same, calm, voice, with more distinct alliteration than emotion: “Dusty 52, Center, we have you at 620 on the ground.”

And I thought to myself, is this a ripe situation, or what? As my hand instinctively reached for the mic button, I had to remind myself that Walt was in control of the radios. Still, I thought, it must be done - in mere seconds we'll be out of the sector and the opportunity will be lost. That Hornet must die, and die now. I thought about all of our Sim training and how important it was that we developed well as a crew and knew that to jump in on the radios now would destroy the integrity of all that we had worked toward becoming. I was torn. Somewhere, 13 miles above Arizona, there was a pilot screaming inside his space helmet. Then, I heard it - the click of the mic button from the back seat. That was the very moment that I knew Walter and I had become a crew. Very professionally, and with no emotion, Walter spoke: “Los Angeles Center, Aspen 20, can you give us a ground speed check?” There was no hesitation, and the replay came as if was an everyday request. “Aspen 20, I show you at one thousand eight hundred and forty-two knots, across the ground.”

I think it was the forty-two knots that I liked the best, so accurate and proud was Center to deliver that information without hesitation, and you just knew he was smiling. But the precise point at which I knew that Walt and I were going to be really good friends for a long time was when he keyed the mic once again to say, in his most fighter-pilot-like voice: “Ah, Center, much thanks, we're showing closer to nineteen hundred on the money.” For a moment Walter was a god. And we finally heard a little crack in the armor of the Houston Center voice, when L.A. came back with, “Roger that Aspen. Your equipment is probably more accurate than ours. You boys have a good one.”

It all had lasted for just moments, but in that short, memorable sprint across the southwest, the Navy had been flamed, all mortal airplanes on freq were forced to bow before the King of Speed, and more importantly, Walter and I had crossed the threshold of being a crew. A fine day's work. We never heard another transmission on that frequency all the way to the coast. For just one day, it truly was fun being the fastest guys out there.
This is the original un-embelished version taken straight from the book...





Hooli

27,648 posts

85 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Those are what I was thinking of, not the naval fighters.

williamp

12,386 posts

158 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
This is my favourite story. Its been here before, so dont tell the you-know-whats its a repost:

As a former SR-71 pilot, and a professional keynote speaker, someone asked, “What was the slowest you ever flew in the Blackbird?” This was a first. After giving it some thought, I was reminded of a story that I had never shared before, and relayed the following.

I was flying the SR-71 out of RAF Mildenhall, England, with my back-seater, Walt Watson; we were returning from a mission over Europe and the Iron Curtain when we received a radio transmission from home base. As we scooted across Denmark in three minutes, we learned that a small RAF base in the English countryside had requested an SR-71 flypast. The air cadet commander there was a former Blackbird pilot, and thought it would be a motivating moment for the young lads to see the mighty SR-71 perform a low approach. No problem, we were happy to do it. After a quick aerial refueling over the North Sea, we proceeded to find the small airfield.

Walter had a myriad of sophisticated navigation equipment in the back seat, and began to vector me toward the field. Descending to subsonic speeds, we found ourselves over a densely wooded area in a slight haze. Like most former WWII British airfields, the one we were looking for had a small tower and little surrounding infrastructure. Walter told me we were close and that I should be able to see the field, but I saw nothing. Nothing but trees as far as I could see in the haze. We got a little lower, and I pulled the throttles back from the 325 knots we were at. With the gear up, anything under 275 was just uncomfortable. Walt said we were practically over the field—yet, there was nothing in my windscreen. I banked the jet and started a gentle circling maneuver in hopes of picking up anything that looked like a field.

Meanwhile, below, the cadet commander had taken the cadets up on the catwalk of the tower in order to get a prime view of the flypast. It was a quiet, still day with no wind and partial gray overcast. Walter continued to give me indications that the field should be below us, but in the overcast and haze, I couldn’t see it. The longer we continued to peer out the window and circle, the slower we got. With our power back, the awaiting cadets heard nothing. I must have had good instructors in my flying career, as something told me I better cross-check the gauges. As I noticed the airspeed indicator slide below 160 knots, my heart stopped and my adrenalin-filled left hand pushed two throttles full forward. At this point, we weren’t really flying, but were falling in a slight bank. Just at the moment that both afterburners lit with a thunderous roar of flame (and what a joyous feeling that was), the aircraft fell into full view of the shocked observers on the tower. Shattering the still quiet of that morning, they now had 107 feet of fire-breathing titanium in their face as the plane leveled and accelerated, in full burner, on the tower side of the infield, closer than expected, maintaining what could only be described as some sort of ultimate knife-edge pass.

Quickly reaching the field boundary, we proceeded back to Mildenhall without incident. We didn’t say a word for those next 14 minutes. After landing, our commander greeted us, and we were both certain he was reaching for our wings. Instead, he heartily shook our hands and said the commander had told him it was the greatest SR-71 flypast he had ever seen, especially how we had surprised them with such a precise maneuver that could only be described as breathtaking. He said that some of the cadet’s hats were blown off and the sight of the planform of the plane in full afterburner dropping right in front of them was unbelievable. Walt and I both understood the concept of “breathtaking” very well that morning, and sheepishly replied that they were just excited to see our low approach.

As we retired to the equipment room to change from space suits to flight suits, we just sat there—we hadn’t spoken a word since “the pass.” Finally, Walter looked at me and said, “One hundred fifty-six knots. What did you see?” Trying to find my voice, I stammered, “One hundred fifty-two.” We sat in silence for a moment. Then Walt said, “Don’t ever do that to me again!” And I never did.

A year later, Walter and I were having lunch in the Mildenhall Officer’s Club, and overheard an officer talking to some cadets about an SR-71 flypast that he had seen one day. Of course, by now the story included kids falling off the tower and screaming as the heat of the jet singed their eyebrows. Noticing our HABU patches, as we stood there with lunch trays in our hands, he asked us to verify to the cadets that such a thing had occurred. Walt just shook his head and said, “It was probably just a routine low approach; they’re pretty impressive in that plane.” Impressive indeed.

Tango13

3,309 posts

61 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
If you can find a copy I recommend 'Blackbird Rising, birth of an Aviation Legend' by Donn A Byrnes and Kenneth D Hurley.

It describes in some detail the flight testing of the A-12 and the SR-71 and some of the avionics and sensor systems including a rather unfortunate incedent with some acetone and a pair of trousers laugh

chilistrucker

2,531 posts

36 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
i know bugger all about all things planes.
i do, however as a kid remember the blackbird being my ultimate "top trump"
2 posts on here, are amongst the best i've ever read on the tinternet smile well done!
god i hope that bloodhound thing runs smile

ukzz4iroc

1,253 posts

59 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
Fantastic, thanks for sharing.

Vieste

Original Poster:

10,532 posts

45 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all

J B L

3,436 posts

100 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
3 or 4 years I passed on an edition of Sled Driver at £70 on eBay. Doh!


Anyway... Was Concorde also leaking fluids on the ground too as I seem to remember it was also expanding during its supersonic flights?

CharlieCrocodile

682 posts

38 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
And taken from the website the OP linked:

Walter startled the controller by asking for a ground speed check from 81,000 feet, clearly above controlled airspace. In a cool, professional voice, the controller replied, ' Aspen 20, I show you at 1,982 knots on the ground.' We did not hear another transmis sion on that frequency all the way to the coast.


So 3 different versions, makes you wonder if the event ever happened.

Vieste

Original Poster:

10,532 posts

45 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
I am sure it did one way or the other.
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