We can thank the BBC for this fine short (5:30 Minute) video of the world renowned SR-71 speed demon in action – one that shows us what went into flying this sophisticated and spectacular machine to its all-time aviation speed records. Records not broken to this day.
While we all know the veritable Jenny and how it all started with that challenging 90 MPH biplane of its day, less than 50 years after the events of 1916 and 1917 here in Columbus, New Mexico, the FAS was flying that identical early mission, but this time with an aircraft that cruised at the outer reaches our earth’s atmosphere, actually in space, and at three times the speed of sound, or some 2,400 MPH! Watch this unarmed high-powered Jet in action as it fulfilled that same earlier in the century FAS mission of Reconnaissance and surveillance. To experience this video simply click on the photo of the RS-71 above.
Good Morning, Ric
Shouldn’t this be “SR-71” ?
You are absolutely correct – and I am wrong. Oh, oh. Thanks for catching the dyslexic slip up!
SR-71 Not in space. Cruised at 85,000 feet at Mach 3.2 / 3.3 when authorised. 2200 mph. Speed of sound reduces with altitude.
You are technically correct, Alan. Since space begins at about 100 kilometers (about 328,000′) the SR-71 was not a spacecraft. But at the altitude you mention, 85,000 feet, human survival is virtually impossible without being contained inside a “spacesuit,” which is clearly, as you know, why the crew wore spacesuits when flying the ship – which also holds equally true for those who are now flying the U-2 Dragon Lady spy plane for the First Aero out of Beale Air Force Base North of Sacramento, CA. Another good observation you make, is that the speed of sound drops with an increase in altitude. Thanks for taking the time to provide this correction to our story on the Blackbird!