NFR Might Be Interesting to Some

miyawaki

Active Member
#1
Here's a little something unusual that some may find interesting. In 1961, the A-12 (pre SR71 Blackbird) had to be moved by secret convoy from Burbank to Area 51. The copy is a bit laborious but the photos of the "vintage" automoblies juxtaposed with the incredible design of the Blackbird is astounding! keep in mind that this plane was built in 1961!

Leland.

http://www.roadrunnersinternationale.com/transporting_the_a-12.html
 

miyawaki

Active Member
#3
Truly an NFR post!

Pretty crazy eh? I graduated from high school in 1961. Cars were being designed in Detroit. They should have let the engineers at Lockheed design cars.

Leland.
 

rainbow

My name is Mark Oberg
#4
What a trip, when were these photo's released. I was station at gorge AFB got out in 79, always been an interesting topic.
 
#6
I love this stuff, if I saw that going down the road my imagination would take me to even more far out places than the "Oxcart"! Thanks for sharing this. I love the story about when one crashed in the desert and in one day they had it cleaned up and looking completely natural.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#7
Interesting. I never heard of this stuff. I presume this was all top secret so that Russian satellites couldn't photograph it. The Cold War was great for business.
 

GAT

Dumbfounded
#8
They have a Blackbird on display at the Evergreen Aeronautical and Space Museum in McMinville, Oregon. Most folks go there to look at the Spruce Goose but I thought the full size version of the model airplane I assembled as a kid was much more interesting.

We you see the thing up close and personal, you can see where they got the idea for the Stealth Aircraft.

The part I found the most amazing what that the thing leaked fuel as quickly as they could pump it in. Because of the heat generated at the extreme speeds the jet can fly, all the seals will close up so they were built to allow for that fact.

So the sucker leaked fuel on the runway. Once it was in the air, the first order of business was to refuel to replace what it had lost on the ground. Then it blasted off, the seals expanded and it stopped leaking fuel.

When it landed, whatever aviation fuel remained leaked out on the runway again... and the stuff is not 15% ethanol!

Sounds like a fire hazard to me :D

I've heard that they have reinstated a number of Blackbird spy jets to use again because there are some photos they can gain that spy satellites can not. So someplace, a Blackbird is sitting somewhere ... leaking.
 

zen leecher aka bill w

born to work, forced to fish
#9
The Museum of Flight has a M-21 on display which is a variant of the original A-12. The M-21 carried pilotless drones (D-21B) and "launched" them. A Concorde is also there. I had a few years at Boeing I worked on the B-2 and the F-22 before I joined the ranks of itinerant fisherpeople.
 

GAT

Dumbfounded
#11
They stored nerve gas (and who knows other bad nasties) at the Umatilla Army Depot. Sometimes I wonder how it all got there. Road? Rail? Who knows how many times you may have been driving next to a semi on I-84 and the trailer was actually full of deadly nerve gas? Makes ya feel all warm and fuzzy thinking about the possibility.
 
#12
They stored nerve gas (and who knows other bad nasties) at the Umatilla Army Depot. Sometimes I wonder how it all got there. Road? Rail? Who knows how many times you may have been driving next to a semi on I-84 and the trailer was actually full of deadly nerve gas? Makes ya feel all warm and fuzzy thinking about the possibility.
What you dont know cant hurt you right???
Cool article btw! Just wonder why they didnt fly it, pass any sightings off as a ufo or figment of peoples minds like they do now days....
I like the one at the Museum of flight!! It would of been awesome to see the mini me drone flying!
 
#13
Interesting as well that Russian satellites would pass over at certain times of day and the crews at Groom Lake caught on to this and would have to hide the planes or roll them back into the hangers. They actually painted silhouettes of generic looking jets on the tarmac to appease the satellites. In a sense, "these aren't the droids you're looking for"
 
#14
When it landed, whatever aviation fuel remained leaked out on the runway again... and the stuff is not 15% ethanol!

Sounds like a fire hazard to me :D
The fuel they used apparently had an extremely high flashpoint and was difficult to ignite even in the engines. If they had a flameout (which they often did in the beginning) they used tetraethylborane to restart them. Apparently it ignites on contact with air and burns hot enough to ignite the jet fuel. They only had a limited supply on board, enough to restart the engines a half dozen times or so.
 

Alex MacDonald

that's His Lordship, to you.....
#15
I worked with students who were also SR-71 ground crew at Beale AFB while they were still flying. Lots of jackrabbits on the runway until one of these monsters would light up the cans: then it was "extra-crispy". The kids would put Pyrex beakers of water 100yds aft of the planes, and when they ran up to takeoff, the water would vaporize in a snap! I actually saw one in flight, coming in over the Sierra for a landing at Beale once, and yes... fuckers are really, really, REALLY fast!!!