I knew U-2's were still going, but I thought they quit using the SR-71's.
Regardless, my point is they aren't likely to let us know very many details
about a spy plane unless they already have something better. Don't believe
everything your government tells you.
You've got that right, but I have contracts to service replacement parts for
both of these on site as well as the RF-4 and RF-134.
I've a couple of pictures of my humble ( LOL ) self with an A-12 if your
interested. Now those really are old.
Yeah! I'd have to go with the Mustang. Place I used to work, a guy there
had a Mustang. The work place was fairly close to the airpport where he
kept the Mustang. Occasionally we'd hear him fly over work -( buzzing
us?), I'm not sure but we'd hear him anyway. Once I asked why we didn't
hear him more often. He goes, "Hey! you'll only hear me around pay day
because it takes a month to save up enough money to gas the thing up". That
was back when you could get a Mustang for maybe 50 K. Now, I'll bet you
couldn't touch one for under 300,000.
Me too. We were lucky to have a low fly-over at our local airshow one
But my first love (for airplanes) in the early 50s was the Navy
Cutlass, first jet I remember seeing without a tail. Seemed like it
was right off the cover of Popular Science. Still looks good.
Thanks for the memories dredged up.
I think the last active SR-71 is the NASA plane in the Museum of Flight
at Boeing Field South of Seattle. Been quite a while since I was there,
but seems like that is what the sign said.
Wish I could have seen it fly in!
If you've ever stood within 50 feet of a P-51D idling, it is an amazing
experience. I've also heard them flying, and it is just a big buzz.
But, the idling of the Merlin engine shakes the ground, and it is like
being pounded in the chest with boxing gloves! Totally awesome!
Yes, a working engine will run $300K. The air racers burned up all
the usable engines.
I've seen some pretty neat stuff, mostly when I was working for NASA
at Wallops Station, VA.
I got to see the F-15 technology demonstrator (the prototype of the
F-15) after the Air Force was done checking it out, they sent it over
to NASA Langley for them to take a look at it. I had no idea what
it was, but it took off on full afterburners and climbed until it
passed the 747's on flights to Europe, in under 2 minutes.
I got to see some U-2s and RS-1s (those were NASAs) land and take off.
I got to see the reference test of the AEC rain erosion test vehicle.
That was a Terrier-Recruit rocket that was fired at a low angle through
the ice-filled tops of Atlantic storms to gauge the effects of
atmospheric ice on the missile reentry vehicles. It flew at 6000 MPH,
covered 19 miles and went from pad to splashdown in about 22 seconds.
I also was within 1000 feet or so of the pad when they launched a
Exametnet Super Loki Datasonde, which is an ionospheric experimental
It develops 120 G of acceleration at the pad. I was just standing
there watching it, and it simply disappeared. I jerked my head up,
and it was a yellow dot at the top of a huge black cloud about 2 miles
high at that point. It is at 100,000 feet about 6 senconds after first
I got to be in the blockhouse when we launched a Scout-II which is an
80 foot tall rocket, about as big as the solid fueled rockets got at
that time. That was launching the last of the micrometeoroid technology
sattelites, to study the distribution of tiny, fast moving particles
in low earth orbit.
There's more, but I think those were the highlights.
As for sexy, just about anything connected to Burt Rutan is pretty sexy.
The U2 Has been semi retired for 40 years though. But in
The only U2's i've heard of flying are doing photography or high
altitude research but not doing true military recon work
But its NOT a sexy plane
John R. Carroll wrote:
I don't really know, but my understanding was that the SR-71 fleet was
(mostly) closed down because the need has been significantly reduced by
satellite technology and the demise of the Soviet Union.