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Every freshly parked picture of an SR71 shows a pool of leaking fuel below it.

I was at the Oshkosh Experimental Aircraft Association in 1989 when an SR71 made a rare public appearance and participated in part of the flight show.

The loose fitting fuel chamber sleeves only fit well as they heat up at supersonic flight, so at every other time they leak. It left a huge puddle of fuel on the runway and as it flew over town, there was a fine mist of fuel on everyone's car and house. A lot of people were pissed about it.

Personally I was just happy to see such a cool bird for real.
 

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Hey this is a forum about stuff that goes like stink on the road...NOT IN THE AIR... so:



The SR71 is the king when it comes to "barely enough range to get to the next gas station"... they need fuel after taking off - like needing gas when you get to the bottom of your driveway. Ultimate performance always has its price.
 

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Hey this is a forum about stuff that goes like stink on the road...NOT IN THE AIR... so:

The very first thing I thought of when I saw this pic is that those of us who are "enlightened" would relish the opportunity to sit in traffic behind such an iconic aircraft.

The second thing I thought of was that everyone else would be like:


 

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Half of my Lockheed career (17 years) was spent working in ADP (Advanced Development Project, the Skunk Works) on the U-2. While its original design goes back to the 50’s, the one operating now is very different although a lot of it is still old technology such as cable actuated flight controls. It is such a good design and very capable for its mission that it will undoubtedly be flying for a very long time.
One of my favorite anecdotes with regards to the development of the U2 centers around the development of the cameras. The U2, when at it's operational altitude and cruise speed, has an absolutely tiny "window" between its stall speed and maximum aerodynamic pressure (Max q)... something like 8 knots. It is therefore EXTREMELY sensitive to any changes with regards to its center of mass.

There was no getting around the fact that the camera system, designed to take panoramic photos, on relatively large format film, had enormous supply and recovery canisters to store the film. Unfortunately, over the course of a mission, there was a significant change in center of mass as the film moved from one canister to the other as it was exposed. The solution was relatively simple, and quite elegant. Two counter rotating spools of film, which were exposed in unison, which, in the reference frame of the camera system itself, maintained almost perfect balance.





Brilliant!
 

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The SR71 is the king when it comes to "barely enough range to get to the next gas station"... they need fuel after taking off - like needing gas when you get to the bottom of your driveway. Ultimate performance always has its price.
The reason for needing fuel shortly after take off is because of that engineered static fuel leak. At preflight servicing, it was only fueled enough for take off and an emergency landing. A special tanker was always in the air to refuel it to mission load shortly after its take off.
 

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As "we", ehm... rather, some of us, seem to be on a "legends of aviation" kick for the last week or so, I thought I'd add this.





Surely, there is not a single aircraft that has been flown by any air force on earth, which has had either the "impact" (pun intended) or longevity as the BUFF. Am pretty sure at this point, it is older than every flight crew which mans her.
 

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The reason for needing fuel shortly after take off is because of that engineered static fuel leak. At preflight servicing, it was only fueled enough for take off and an emergency landing. A special tanker was always in the air to refuel it to mission load shortly after its take off.

I worked for a guy years ago who had been on Operation Ranchhand in Nam, then was a Crewchief on an RC135 back in the States, North Carolina I think.

They were a special refueling unit, and would launch out hours ahead of an SR-71 mission. They would circle out over the Atlantic with a load of JP-7 until the bird showed up to get a drink. I think they fueled it coming and going as it wouldn't be long between the 2 fueling sessions.

If the mission were scrubbed due to weather, they would head back to base...dropping JP-7 as they went since they couldn't land with full tanks. So he said...
.
 

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The reason for needing fuel shortly after take off is because of that engineered static fuel leak. At preflight servicing, it was only fueled enough for take off and an emergency landing. A special tanker was always in the air to refuel it to mission load shortly after its take off.
I saw that explained in a utube video interview with a former SR71 pilot. Something like 40% of a full tank of gas at takeoff.
 

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9/11 (2002) IMDB Documentary - This is the most intense documentary about the firefighters that dealt with that day on site. It's the only one with this kind of view inside the building while events were happening. It was not intended to be a 9/11 documentary - it was just a story about a rookie becoming a NY firefighter. But they were there to capture so much more. All other videos are after the fact. This one is the real thing - before, during and after.

I recommend this to everyone. I own it but I believe it is available on various streaming services. I watch it every year on this day. Never Forget.
 
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