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Old 06-02-2004, 12:05 AM
psfred psfred is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150

Actually, the SR-71 has been out of service for nearly 10 years now, unless someone has refitted one. They were all built between 1965 and 1969, IFRC, and are OLD by aeronauticals standards, titanium bodies aside. Fatigue is a problem in stainless steel, too.

Range was quite a bit more than 2500 miles, though -- they did routine overflights of the Soviet Union from Iran and Turkey, some transpolar, and many from the US.

As to fuel consumption, they are VERY efficient at 70,000 ft plus and twice the speed of sound, much more so that a Concode, which used straight turbojets. The SR-71 has a number of "funny tricks" about the engine nacells, and runs pretty much as a ram jet at high speed on afterburners. Also used a combination of trailing edge exhaust and upper surface suction to keep the stall speed under 250 mph, and actually produced about 1.5:1 bypass ratio via the exhaust slipstream at low speeds, too. It ate fuel like crazy at low speeds, but the engine was so efficient at high altitudes it has the same fuel comsption over distance of a similar weight turbo fan aircraft. It holds an amazing amount of fuel, too -- has to, it's used for cooling during supersonic flight....

If you've not seen one, go to Wright-Pat in Dayton , Ohio. Quite an impressive museum. The one they have is the Y-R-71, the smaller experimental interceptor version that no one ever figured out a way to arm. They also have a B-52 that made a HARD landing (it's visibly bent) and the only B-36 in extistance. A true monster of a plane!

1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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